Supreme Court hears arguments on immigration policy

Supreme Court hears arguments on immigration policy

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] Monday in United States v. Texas [transcript, PDF] on the Obama administration’s controversial immigration policy. The question before the court is whether [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] a state that provides a subsidies to undocumented immigrants has standing to challenge the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] regarding its guidance seeking to establish a process for considering deferred action for more undocumented immigrants. Under the Obama administration, DHS has long utilized a system of “deferred action,” meaning it does not pursue deportation for certain illegal immigrants on a discretionary basis. In 2014 Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson [official profile] issued guidance seeking a deferred action protocol be established for undocumented immigrants who have lived in the US for five years and either came here as children or currently have children who are US citizens or permanent residents. Twenty-six states joined the suit to challenge this guidance on the argument that it will create more immigrants with a deferred action status, and states must sustain a financial burden to maintain these individuals in their state systems. A second issue in this case is whether President Barack Obama has violated his constitutional duty in the Take Care Clause of Article II, Section 3 [text] to to “faithfully execute” the federal immigration laws as passed by Congress.

This case appeals a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website], which affirmed [opinion, PDF] a lower court decision, holding that Texas does have standing and imposed an injunction temporarily banning the government from implementing the deferred action program. The court granted certiorari [JURIST report] in the case in January.