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Immigration Reform News: SCOTUS Takes No Action On Obama's Proposal to Expand DACA

First Posted: Jan 16, 2016 12:57 PM EST
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The U.S. Supreme Court has still not issued a decision on whether or not it will hear the case on President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration.

The High Court took no immediate action on Friday on whether it will hear the highly disputed immigration case over his plan to shield up to 5 million immigrants from deportation, reports Reuters.

However, that does not mean SCOTUS will not take up the case at all. The justices may very well make a decision to hear Obama's appeal next week. But if they opt not to hear the case, then that would effectively end Obama's program to help millions of undocumented immigrants.

The president first announced his plan to use his executive authority to implement an immigration overhaul back in November 2014 after Congress failed to pass comprehensive legislation to fix the nation's broken immigration system. Under his proposal, more than 4 million immigrants would no longer face the threat of deportation if they are parents of U.S. citizens and have no criminal record. Those eligible would also be granted legal status, work permits and some federal benefits.

However, a coalition of Republican-led states, spearheaded by Texas, quickly filed a lawsuit to stop the president's executive action, arguing that it was an abuse of power.

In Feb. 2015, a lower court ruled in favor of the 26 states and blocked Obama from implementing his plan. In turn, the White House filed an appeal against the injunction, asking the Supreme Court to overturn the lower court decision that has prohibited Obama from moving forward.

The states then filed a motion last month asking the High Court not to consider the Obama administration's plea to hear the case.

Although SCOTUS did not announced Friday whether it will hear Obama's bid to revive his plan, the justices are widely expected to take up the case, which will be key in determining Obama's legacy on immigration.

A decision made in Obama's favor this June would give his administration about seven months to try to roll out the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the new initiative called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), reports Politico.

However, if the Supreme Court rules against Obama's proposal to expand DACA, then that would likely force the administration to shut down the earlier program, which has benefited almost 800,000 Dreamers since 2012 by granting them quasi-legal status and work permits.

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