As Rewire previously reported, Obama’s executive action would have expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, enabling eligible undocumented immigrants to receive a three-year work permit.
It also would have created Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), which would have provided undocumented parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident children who also meet certain requirements a renewable work permit and exemption from deportation for two years.
The Supreme Court initially heard the case in April. The Court announced in June it was split 4 to 4 on the case. As a result, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling remains in place, blocking the effort to extend relief from fear of deportation to millions of undocumented immigrants.
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Shortly after the ruling, the Obama administration petitioned the court to rehear the case when it has all nine justices. The Supreme Court’s rejection to rehear the case means that DAPA and the DACA extension are effectively void.
The responses from immigrant rights organizations were swift. The National Immigration Law Center released a statement asserting that justice was denied to millions of immigrant families. Marielena Hincapié, the center’s executive director, said the justices failed to do what’s best for the country and that the issues in U.S. v. Texas are “too big” for the United States to accept a decision by default by the nation’s highest court.
“The fact that the Supreme Court has continued to fail to act on the nation’s most pressing issues only serves to remind us that we need a fully functional court today, not next year,” Hincapié said in the statement. “Today’s decision raises the stakes for the November elections even more. Voters must turn out to ensure that we elect a president who will shape the future of the country—not just for the next four years but for decades—as she or he will get to nominate several Supreme Court justices.”