More than a year ago, President Obama signed executive actions that would have helped millions of undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for a long time avoid deportation.
Unsurprisingly, given how controversial and ideological battles over both immigration and presidential power can be, the policies were quickly challenged in court by 26 states, and the plan to defer deportations has become a dream deferred.
Now the Supreme Court has decided that it wants to have final say on this issue; the Court said it will hear a challenge to the actions this year on Tuesday.
Its ruling will probably be announced during the official month of crazy-important Supreme Court decisions, June, which means Obama will be handed a big win or a huge loss right before both parties head to their 2016 conventions. If the Obama administration wins, it will be able to begin implementing the policy right before the White House gets a new resident — one who may be intent on dismantling the program, or expanding it, right away.
The executive actions would only allow DREAMers or immigrants who have children who are U.S. citizens stay in the U.S. legally. The Obama administration argued that letting these undocumented immigrants stay here would open up resources to focus on deporting the people who definitely shouldn’t — like criminals.
“I know some worry immigration will change the very fabric of who we are, or take our jobs, or stick it to middle-class families at a time when they already feel like they’ve gotten the raw deal for over a decade,” Obama said when explaining his actions in November 2014. “I hear these concerns. But that’s not what these steps would do. Our history and the facts show that immigrants are a net plus for our economy and our society. And I believe it’s important that all of us have this debate without impugning each other’s character.”
The case will probably head to the Court in April.