On Monday, 43 Republican Senators joined the legal fight against the executive actions on immigration taken by President Barack Obama, saying that he has overstepped his authority by making a unilateral decision to expand programs aimed at undocumented immigrants. The White House argues that the House of Representatives’ failure to pass the comprehensive immigration bill approved by the Senate in 2013 left them no choice.
Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, led the Senators in filing an amicus brief related to the United States v. Texas case, which deals with a lawsuit from 26 states, headed by Texas, against the President’s actions. The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments later this month and a ruling could be possible as early as June.
The Senators claim that the executive actions taken by Obama contravene both the spirit and the letter of immigration law and a pose a threat to the separation of powers that is enshrined within the US Constitution. The President’s actions were taken in late 2014 in order to enable people who have children with legal status in the United States and resided there for more than five years to be able to stay without fear of deportation, in addition to expanding the existing deferred action program for young undocumented immigrants who illegally came to the US as children.
A similar brief was submitted last month by House Speaker Paul Ryan who was authorized to do so by a House vote of 234-186.