U.S. President Barack Obama’s executive action to secure that millions of illegal immigrants have a path to citizenship, was blocked by the Texas Court of Appeals. Now, the setback can only be resolved by the administration’s appeal to the Supreme Court.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Texas, decided with a 2-1 vote in the case Texas v. United States, to uphold a May injunction of Barack Obama’s immigration plan that has been strongly opposed by all Republicans and challenged in court by 26 states.
All of the 26 states are led by Republican Governors, who argue that Obama’s immigration plan is well out of bounds of his executive authority and that he has no right to demand protection of whole categories of immigrants. However, the Obama administration argues that the President’s actions is lawful and that he has every right to ask the Department of Homeland Security to decide before deporting nonviolent migrants that have family ties with U.S. citizens.
According to Reuters, the Appeals Court said that it was making this ruling to deny the federal government of stay of the May injunction, because they have “determined that the appeal was unlikely to succeed on its merits.”
After a long pressure by immigration activists, Obama made a change in his immigration policy last November when he decided that he would issue an executive order to help nonviolent immigrants to avoid deportation, but has faced rigorous criticism ever since. Republicans are arguing that his lawlessness is only allowing an amnesty to lawbreakers.
The ruling has upheld two programs that Obama’s plan includes; the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and the expansion of another, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
According to Reuters, this decision is considered as a victory for Republicans. John Scalise, the number 3 Republican Representative in the House tweeted that the court ruling is “a major victory for the rule of law.”
On the other hand the Obama administration argues that the Constitution grants the exclusive power over immigration law to the federal government and all the changes with the executive order are well within the executive branch’s discretionary power in enforcing the existing immigration law.
The next expected step by the White House is to appeal the Fifth Circuit decision to the Supreme Court, which has just started its new term. President Obama is willing to get the case concluded during his term at the Presidency, but it is up to the Supreme Court Justices to give the opportunity of the case. If it is accepted it would be the final big win of Barack Obama as President, but if it is declined it can become a central part of the 2016 Presidential elections and could find its resolution under a new President.