The United States Supreme Court by a divided bench of 4:4 in United States v Texas has today allowed an order blocking enforcement of Obama’s immigration policy.
The immigration program, named Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), permitted illegal immigrants in those categories, who had been residing at US for past five years, to remain in the country .It further allowed such immigrants to apply for work permits, if they were not involved in felonies or repeated misdemeanors. Obama also expanded a 2012 policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which extended such benefit to those brought to US as children.
Contending that Obama exceeded his presidential powers in formulating the policy, around 25 states approached the federal court impugning such a course. It was argued that Obama overstepped the presidential powers granted to him by the U.S. Constitution by infringing the authority of Congress.A federal judge in Texas issued an order retraining the implementation of policy in February 2015.The said view was later upheld by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in November.
The matter accordingly reached US Supreme Court.The US Supreme Court affirmed the view of 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a single line,per incuriam opinion which read as:-“ The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.”
Since the court’s ruling was not arrived on the merits of the main legal question, its not to be viewed as a legal precedent binding on future presidents. However the decision, certainly means that any major immigration policy change to redress the grievance of illegal immigrants in the country would certainly have to be formulated by the Congress.
Read the opinion here.