Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Republican Supreme Court to Take Up DAPA

NYT editorial. Jan. 20,2016.

As soon as 26 states took it upon themselves to sue President Obama over the sensible, humane executive actions he took in late 2014 to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, it was inevitable that the lawsuit would land on the Supreme Court’s doorstep.

On Tuesday morning, the justices announced that they would hear the case, which means a decision will most likely come down by the end of June. The states should never have been allowed standing to sue in the first place, and their substantive claims are groundless.

There are more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. No one, besides Donald Trump, believes the nation has the resources, or the will, to deport them all. The clearest solution is to focus on removing those who pose an actual threat to public safety while deferring action on most of the rest and helping them “come out of the shadows.” In 2012, the Obama administration allowed young immigrantswho were brought here as children to be given work permits and be exempted from deportation, a program that has worked well. In November 2014, the president announced a plan to offer work permits and a three-year reprieve from deportation to as many as five million undocumented parents of American citizens or permanent residents, provided they had no criminal record and had lived in the country at least five years.

Getting hardworking people who have deep roots in their communities out of the shadows isn’t a new issue. In a 1980 presidential debate, George Bush decried the harsh efforts to marginalize undocumented immigrants. “We’re creating a whole society of really honorable, decent, family-loving people that are in violation of the law,” he said. Mr. Obama, along with other reality-based politicians on both the left and the right, understands this, but congressional Republicans have refused to pass any meaningful immigration reform.

Mr. Obama’s pragmatic deportation exemption programs are well within his legal and constitutional authority. The Supreme Court explicitly statedin 2012 that the federal government had “broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens” under the Constitution.

But Texas and other states — mostly conservative ones along the southern border — immediately cried foul, and steered a lawsuit to Judge Andrew Hanen of Federal District Court in Brownsville, Tex. Last February, Judge Hanen ruled in the states’ favor and blocked the president’s action. In November, a panel of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit voted 2 to 1to affirm that ruling.

DAPA and DACA are Executive Actions.  All of the Republican candidates for President have pledged to end the  DACA and DAPA programs.
Note the Republican majority on the Supreme Court. A similar court made George W. Bush President in 2000 even though he did not win a majority of the national votes.
The part of this story in quotes is  excerpted from  reporting in the New York Times by Adam Liptak and Michael Shear, 
For information on legal developments see

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