LatinaLista — The Supreme Court of the United States, or SCOTUS, as it’s known by its acronym, delivered a setback but not defeat to President Obama’s executive actions expanding deportation deferment of DREAMers (DACA) and undocumented parents of American-born children (DAPA).
The court was deadlocked in their decision. It was a deadlock — expressed in one sentence: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.” — that could have been avoided had there been a full Supreme Court. Yet, in a move that has become the trademark of the GOP-led Congress, partisan behavior has prevented a new member to be named to the bench replacing deceased Justice Antonin Scalia.
If there is a silver lining, the deadlock signals that there still is hope for a favorable decision in the future if the case is brought before the Supreme Court again. However, that would depend on which party is successful in seating the next justice.
As expected there was quick reaction to the Supreme Court’s (in)decision. In an attempt to give an overview of who is saying what, we have featured statements from those politicians who have released reaction to the decision, as well as, immigrant advocacy organizations. Some of the organizations are planning conference calls to qualm the fears of DREAMers. Information on how to join those calls can be found among the following statements.
One political voice is noticeably absent from our round-up – Donald Trump. In checking his Twitter feed, he seems more intent on demonizing his presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, than sharing any substantive thoughts on the decision. In fairness, it may be because he’s on his way to Scotland to officially open a new golf resort named for him.
However, if news accounts are to be believed, Trump may not be able to escape the immigration issue altogether. It’s said that some of the homeowners who were bullied by Trump to sell their homes to make way for the golf course expansion are flying Mexcian flags on their properties as a way to show solidarity with Mexicans and to stand up to Trump’s bulliness.
Hillary Clinton Statement on Texas v. United States
Today, following the Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision in Texas v. United States, Hillary Clinton issued the following statement:
“Today’s deadlocked decision from the Supreme Court is unacceptable, and show us all just how high the stakes are in this election. As I have consistently said, I believe that President Obama acted well within his constitutional and legal authority in issuing the DAPA and DACA executive actions. These are our friends and family members; neighbors and classmates; DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful permanent residents. They enrich our communities and contribute to our economy every day. We should be doing everything possible under the law to provide them relief from the specter of deportation.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is purely procedural and casts no doubt on the fact that DAPA and DACA are entirely within the President’s legal authority. But in addition to throwing millions of families across our country into a state of uncertainty, this decision reminds us how much damage Senate Republicans are doing by refusing to consider President Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Our families and our country need and deserve a full bench, and Senate Republicans need to stop playing political games with our democracy and give Judge Merrick Garland a fair hearing and vote.
“This decision is also a stark reminder of the harm Donald Trump would do to our families, our communities, and our country. Trump has pledged to repeal President Obama’s executive actions on his first day in office. He has called Mexican immigrants ‘rapists’ and ‘murderers.’ He has called for creating a deportation force” to tear 11 million people away from their families and their homes.
“I believe we are stronger together. When we embrace immigrants, not denigrate them. When we build bridges, not walls. That is why, as president, I will continue to defend DAPA and DACA, and do everything possible under the law to go further to protect families. It is also why I will introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship within my first 100 days. Because when families are strong—America is strong.”
Senator Bernie Sanders
“Senate Republicans must stop playing politics and confirm a ninth justice to the Supreme Court.
“Today’s deadlocked immigration ruling means that more than 4 million aspiring Americans in the United States will be left waiting for much-needed answers to our broken immigration system. We cannot let their future, and the future of so many more vulnerable people, fall into the bigoted hands of Donald Trump.
“We must ensure that millions of families are no longer separated by unjust deportations. We must stop the raids, decouple local law enforcement from immigration enforcement, end family detention and close down private detention centers that currently house thousands of immigrants.”
U.S. Speaker Paul Ryan
“Today, Article I of the Constitution was vindicated. The Supreme Court’s ruling makes the president’s executive action on immigration null and void. The Constitution is clear: The president is not permitted to write laws—only Congress is. This is another major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers.”
Nevada Senator Harry Reid
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States failed to reach a majority decision on the case United States v. Texas. President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will remained blocked.
“I am extremely disappointed that the Supreme Court failed to reach a majority decision, resulting on a 4-4 tie. Today’s split decision did not rule this program unconstitutional. It highlighted how a hobbled Supreme Court is unable to provide justice to the American people. It showcased the need for a fully functioning Supreme Court and for Republicans to move without delay on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland. Until that happens, this commonsense program will remain blocked and millions of families will continue to live in constant fear of losing a loved one to deportation. I call on the Department of Justice to explore all possible legal options, and I strongly support the call for a re-hearing when there is a full court.
“Not satisfied with gridlock in the Senate, Republicans are bringing gridlock to the judicial branch. In recent weeks the Supreme Court has deadlocked on many important cases and questions before it. Because of Republicans’ unprecedented obstruction and failure to do their constitutional duty, millions of American families are not getting the justice they deserve.
“This politically motivated lawsuit brought forth by Republicans does nothing to address our broken immigration system and only serves to sow fear and uncertainty in homes across the country. It also attacks American families: the vast majority of families who would have qualified for DAPA and DACA include American citizens that have been part of our communities for decades. This case is a direct Republican attack on Latino families.
“Republicans had countless opportunities to vote on the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in 2013. Instead, they chose to waste time and taxpayer money trying to defund the immigration actions, end birthright citizenship and deport DREAMers. Republicans say they want a legislative solution to our immigration problem, however, these actions reveal their true intentions. I urge my Republican colleagues in Congress to work with Democrats to find a common sense solution to our country’s immigration problems.
“The divided court, by affirming the decision in U.S. v Texas, has exposed hard working and vulnerable individuals to continued vulnerability, discriminatory state and federal laws, and predatory practices. The executive action programs would have strengthened family unity, community health and safety, and strengthened our economy,” said Marissa Montes, co-director of the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. “As a clinic that has seen hundreds of community members eligible for these programs who have been preparing to apply, we know that their struggle will continue. As immigrants’ rights advocates, however, this gives further incentive to advocate for change and immigration reform. Our system is broken and victims of crime, asylees, parents, and friends need our attention and protection.”
The co-directors found some semblance of hope in the decision.
“Now more than ever, bold, young immigrants should enroll in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) and show the benefits of this program,” said Emily Robinson, co-director of the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic. “We have seen DACA recipients come out of hiding and make positive change on the world. By enrolling in this program, they continue to show its benefits and open the door to future executive action programs. Executive action was just a band aid on an antiquated immigration system. We need to focus on change for those who need a voice.”
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a setback for all those who have fought for more humane and rational enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws. While we are deeply disappointed by the Court’s failure to reach a decision, we will redouble our organizing efforts to defeat the obstructionist, anti-immigrant forces behind this lawsuit and ensure that all working people can assert their rights on the job and in the community without fear of deportation.
This decision will further motivate a resilient community that is a vibrant and vital part of our labor movement. We continue to urge the Administration to use its discretion to protect those courageous immigrant workers who are exercising their workplace and civil rights.
Washington D.C. – Americans United for Change President Brad Woodhouse issued a statement following today’s 4-4 Supreme Court Split decision affirming an overreaching lower court ruling against President’s Executive Action that shields 4 million undocumented immigrants from mass deportation:
“Republicans will no doubt cheer this decision because like Donald Trump they hate immigrants. That much is abundantly clear after years of vitriolic anti-immigration rhetoric on the campaign trail and their total refusal to act on commonsense immigration reform. But while they are dousing themselves in champagne they should know this: they’re on the wrong side of this issue, and they are screwed politically. If Republicans thought the only thing they had to overcome was Donald Trump’s 80 percent disapproval rating with the Hispanic community they now have another thing coming – a Hispanic population that knows well that Republicans backed the lawsuit that could potentially see millions of families being ripped apart.
“And now the issue of the Supreme Court will be an even bigger issue than it was when Republicans were simply bucking precedent and denying the President’s exceptionally qualified appointee, Judge Merrick Garland, a hearing or vote. If there is one takeaway from this decision, it is just how much is at stake in the November election. If Donald Trump is allowed to occupy the White House and make what could be up to 3 Supreme Court appointments, the issue of immigration will be ignored, 11 million immigrants will be rounded up and deported and families will be ripped apart. And it’s not just the future of America’s immigrant population which is at stake, Trump’s litmus test would require a potential justice to support policies like banning all Muslims from the U.S., torturing or killing the family members of suspected terrorists, or throwing women in jail for getting an abortion. When Republicans lose the Senate and possibly the House over this and the rest of their Trump-led agenda which seeks to divide America, it will be the new textbook example of a party reaping what it has sowed.”
Today’s tie at the Supreme Court is a tremendous blow to millions of immigrant families who are overdue for relief. They work hard, contribute to America and want only a chance to live without fear of being ripped away from their families and to continue working in the country they now call home.
It also reflects what happens when politicians and members of the judiciary play politics with people’s lives. Rather than calling out Texas on its outrageous perversion of what it means to have “standing in a case,” Chief Justice John Roberts went along with his party. And because Republicans in the Senate refuse to do their job and appoint a successor to Justice Scalia until the elections are over, they are leaving the Court without a tie-breaking vote at a time that major national cases are on their docket.
But the fight is not over. While today’s decision was not what we had hoped for, a tie is not a loss. This ruling is not the end of this case. Here’s why:
A 4-4 split means this current Supreme Court could not make a decision and sets no national precedent. That means that the 5th Circuit’s ruling upholding Judge Andrew Hanen’s preliminary injunction should be limited to the three states that make up the 5th Circuit: Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. However, Hanen vastly overstepped his authority by issuing a nationwide injunction.
It’s incumbent upon the Obama Administration and the states hurt by Texas’ action to do everything in their power to rein in Judge Hanen and limit his preliminary injunction to the 5th circuit.
For too long, Republicans at the state and federal have blocked implementation of these programs. Now it’s time for Democrats at the state and Federal level to take action.
Over the next few weeks and months, we will work to ensure the Administration leaves no stone unturned in getting DAPA and DACA+ implemented where possible and we’ll also be working to defeat any politician who stands in our way.
We will work hard to make sure that President Obama’s stated immigration enforcement priorities–which target serious criminals and national security risks–are actually followed in a manner that protects hard working immigrants who toil the shadows so that their children can have a better life; and that the next president does not use immigration law to break up more families.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “This case has always been about anti-immigrant politics–from the 26 Republican Governors and Attorneys General to the District Court Judge who is defined by his anti-immigrant views. If the courts stand in the way for now, we will make sure the politics start to pave the way forward. We are confident that Latinos, Asian-Americans, immigrants and their allies will turnout this November to elect a President who understands that Obama’s immigration executive actions are soundly legal as well as a U.S. Senate that will do its job and fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court with a Justice who will interpret the Constitution.”
STATEMENT: CAP President and CEO Neera Tanden on Today’s United States v. Texas Supreme Court Decision
Washington, D.C. — Today, a short-handed Supreme Court was unable to address an immigration case that affects millions of families and the economy. United States v. Texas was brought by Republican governors and attorneys general from 26 states, challenging the implementation of two national immigration enforcement policies: Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Center for American Progress President and CEO Neera Tanden released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling:
With today’s 4-4 split in United States v. Texas, an estimated 4 million immigrants will remain vulnerable to deportation, and more than 6 million U.S. citizens will continue to live in fear of the deportations of their loved ones. Today’s ruling is a stark reminder of how the obstruction of Senate Republicans continues to negatively affect millions of Americans and their families. DAPA and expanded DACA are important, commonsense policies that were blocked first by a politically motivated lawsuit and then by a do-nothing Senate. We cannot let the partisan, political effort to prevent the Supreme Court from fully functioning continue.
Not moving forward with these initiatives is a loss for millions of families, as well as for the economy since the nation will continue to lose $29.9 million in GDP each day without them. The 1.6 million DAPA-affected individuals who will be eligible to vote in the upcoming elections will hold Republican leaders accountable for not only keeping millions of family members in the limbo but also preventing the Court from doing its job.
While the Court struggles to function, a highly qualified and respected nominee awaits action from Senate Republicans, who refuse to give him a hearing or a vote. Tomorrow marks the 100th day since Merrick Garland was nominated to fill the vacancy, and it is time for Senate Republicans to give him a hearing and a vote. This is the latest example of how the Washington dysfunction created by Republicans in Congress is hurting real people around the country.
Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of NDLON responded:
“If DAPA was the President’s ‘Plan B’ after a failed political strategy for comprehensive immigration reform, then it is incumbent on his administration to immediately announce their ‘Plan C’ after this setback. It will be fully unacceptable for the President to use this decision as an excuse for inaction in cleaning up the mess created by his brutal deportation policy.
“President Obama must use his remaining political capital to defend the rights of immigrants and refugees, and we will be looking to him for the type of leadership that we expected when he first took office.”
“Going forward, it is important to remember that it was grassroots, bottom-up pressure that compelled the President to act before, and the future will be no different. Immigrants must continue to organize in defense of our basic rights in the face of unprecedented nativism in the political sphere.”
Chris Newman, NDLON’s Legal Director said:
“The 4-4 decision leaves unresolved outside of the Fifth Circuit the question of whether and how the President can provide work authorization for currently undocumented immigrants, but it does not impact the President’s indisputable authority to reduce deportations, nor does it foreclose other forms of relief as a legal matter.”
NDLON’s legal team, advocacy team, and a group of impacted Day Laborer spokespersons are working together to analyze the decision and carefully plan the steps moving forward. They will be available for comment and interviews.
Just a few minutes ago, the Supreme Court ruled against DAPA and expanded DACA, the two initiatives announced by President Obama to provide deportation relief and work permits to an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants. We are outraged and deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court ruled against the President’s executive orders and in support of a lawsuit that stands out for being politically partisan and deeply anti-immigrant. The fact remains, DAPA and expanded DACA are commonsense initiatives that are consistent with decades of actions taken by presidents of both parties.
This ruling affects millions of families, including U.S. citizen children, who will continue to live with the constant threat of having their families split apart. That’s why we’re hosting a National Community Call. During this call, our experts will answer your questions and break down what the Court’s ruling means for the millions of undocumented immigrants in our community. Sign up for our call!
Wednesday, July 6th
English Call: 8pm ET
Spanish Call: 9pm ET
Register for the call here.
This battle is far from over and we are counting on you to stay in the fight with us. Get answers to your DACA+ and DAPA questions, and remember, participating on the call is free. Sign up for the call here.
Our hopes are dashed and our hearts are heavy as we come to terms with the Court’s decision. For Ana and millions of families waiting for relief from the fear of deportation today’s decision is heartbreaking.
Ana fled abuse and poverty to come to the United States to provide safety and security for her children. After 8 years of separation, she was finally able to reunite her family, but like millions of undocumented mothers, she lives in constant fear that her family will be torn apart again.
As the mother of two US citizen children, Ana hoped she would be eligible for DAPA. “I had so much hope for DAPA. Now that the Supreme Court is tied, I’m angry and sad, but I know that we have to keep organizing. I’m not going to let the Court’s decision break my courage. Its up to our communities to stand together and stop my deportation order and protect my family and all families.”
Like Ana, we are mothers, daughters, fighters. We won’t rest until our children can go to sleep without worrying that their parents will be taken away from them during the night. We will keep organizing for dignity for our families and communities.
Join us for a webinar on the decision this Monday, June 27th and visit www.womenstepforward.org to learn about other immigration options and rights for women and families.
Webinar in English – Monday, June 27th
11am PT / 2pm ET
Call in: (415)-655-0060 // Access code: 708-233-884
Click here to register for the webinar in English
Webinar in Spanish – Monday, June 27th
5pm PT / 8pm ET
Call in: (213) 929-4232 // Access code: 845-506-529
Click here to register for the webinar in Spanish