Supreme Court Upholds Ruling Blocking Obama Immigration Plan

June 24, 2016

Another Supreme Court ruling Thursday had much more direct relevance to higher education, but the justices also let stand a federal appeals court decision that blocked President Obama's 2014 executive actions protecting some adults who reside in the United States illegally. The court's 4-to-4 deadlock meant that the court upheld the state of Texas' successful challenge to the president's plan to expand his earlier "deferred action" rules that protected from deportation many young people brought to the country by their parents.

Among other things, the 2014 actions sought to expand the deferred action program by making deportation protections last for three years instead of two and allowing more young immigrants to qualify for the status. The orders would also “expand and extend the use” of a program that provides temporary work authorization to international students for 12 to 29 months postgraduation.

In comments Thursday, President Obama sought to reassure the hundreds of thousands of young people who benefited from the original deferred action program that Thursday's decision did not affect them. "These are students, they’re teachers, they’re doctors, they’re lawyers. They’re Americans in every way but on paper. And fortunately, today’s decision does not affect this policy. It does not affect the existing DREAMers," he said, referring to individuals covered by the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.

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