A federal appeals court has dealt a crippling blow to the immigration plan unveiled by President Obama, leaving over four million undocumented immigrants with an uncertain future and potentially forcing the president into a battle in the Supreme Court even as his administration comes to a close.
Texas and 25 other Republican states had challenged the deferred action programs brought by executive action last year by President Obama and this challenge has been upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which on Monday agreed with the contention that the president did not have the authority to take the actions he did. The court ruled 2-1 that Obama’s actions were so wide-ranging that they effectively allowed the president to give any undocumented immigrants in the United States work authorization and legal presence.
The decision has been slammed by immigration advocates, while the White House has made it clear that it disagrees strongly with the court’s decision. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice will be reviewing the ruling to see what the next steps can be. The only real next step the White House can feasibly take is to appeal the decision and take the case to the Supreme Court. Many Republicans have praised the decision, however, and Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, has accused the Obama administration of having “aggressively disregarded the constitutional limits on executive power”. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, meanwhile called the decision “a victory for the Constitution and the American people.”