The plan stems from a 2014 executive action that Obama took after Congress didn’t pass immigration legislation. Lower courts blocked the action after 26 states, including Texas, sued to stop it. Each state, governed by a Republican, said that Obama was overreaching his powers as president.
What Does Obama’s Order Entail?
The executive order lifted the threat of deportation against more than 4 million undocumented immigrants; all of the immigrants affected are those who have no criminal record and have children who are U.S. citizens.
Those affected by the order would be eligible to work legally and receive some federal benefits. None of the actions in Obama’s order required states to kick in for benefits.
Opponents of the executive order have been pacified by lower courts’ refusal to allow the hold, but proponents claim the move will separate families who are already living in the U.S. and pave the way for mass deportation that leaves children without parents.
“President Obama is doing what he can within his well-established constitutional authority," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“The president’s actions fall well within the clear constitutional and legal authority of his office, and the well-established precedent set by every president since Eisenhower," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell disagreed. “The plan [Obama is] presenting is more than just, as the president himself has acknowledged, an overreach – it’s also unfair,” McConnell said.
Whether or not the Supreme Court chooses to hear the case, one thing is certain: there needs to be some type of action protecting people who have lived in the U.S. and have children who are U.S. citizens.
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