Obama administration appeals immigration case to Supreme Court

21 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Obama Legal professionals Ask Supreme Courtroom to Revive Immigration Plan.

NEW YORK — Undocumented immigrants and allies on Friday marked the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration with a sense of bittersweet celebration: Administration officials were still fighting hard to green-light the measures — earlier in the day they had asked the Supreme Court for the final word in a legal battle holding the programs back.

The executive action plan has been stalled by a New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that maintained a lower court’s decision to halt the implementation of the plan. Supreme Court to revive President Barack Obama’s executive action to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, saying Republican-led states had no legal basis to challenge it. Groups gathered in major cities across the country on Friday to pay tribute to a primetime address that Obama gave exactly one year ago, unveiling an unprecedented and legacy-defining plan on immigration.

Acting less than two weeks after a federal appeals court said Obama had overstepped his authority, government lawyers called on the justices to take up the case and issue a ruling that would shape the president’s legacy and the 2016 presidential race. “The court of appeals’ judgment enjoins nationwide a federal policy of great importance to federal law enforcement, to many states, and to millions of families with longstanding and close connections with this country,” U.S. As many as 5 million undocumented immigrants that night found out that they could have a chance to earn a temporary legal status and apply to work aboveboard without the threat of deportation hanging over their heads. The legal challenge to the action was made by 26 Republican-governed states, led by Texas, which say Obama has overstepped his powers by working around Congress. If the appeals court ruling is left in place, millions of people would “continue to work off the books, without the option of lawful employment to provide for their families,” Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said in the filing to the nine justices. Obama has said previously he was spurred to use his executive power to act on immigration after Congress failed to pass any significant immigration reform bills.

Those states are now looking to deal a mortal blow to the heart of the program. “We were really, really happy for our family and friends — they had been living in fear and pain so unnecessarily,” Javier Ramirez-Baron, an activist with the group Cabrini Immigration Services, said at a rally in New York on Friday. “It has been difficult keeping up that spirit,” he added. The program, announced in November 2014, applies to people whose children are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and who meet other requirements. A spokesman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the state will “continue defending the rule of law” against “the president’s unconstitutional use of executive power.” The administration had said on Nov. 10 that it planned an appeal. An earlier executive order called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals shields children who have been brought to the country illegally from being deported is not being challenged.

The majority also said the plan runs afoul of federal immigration law and its rules governing how parents may change their classification based on a child’s status. If they hear the dispute, it would become one of the centerpiece cases of the court’s term that runs through June, along with a challenge to a restrictive Texas abortion law. The immigration issue has driven a wedge between Hispanics, a voting bloc with rising clout, and Republicans, many of whom take a hard line against illegal immigrants. Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said groups will be prepared to submit amicus briefs in support of the administration in order to do as much as possible to expedite the process. Speaking to reporters on Friday, Hincapié pointed to similarities the immigration lawsuit shared with the landmark case on marriage equality last term.

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