An eight-member panel of the Supreme Court of the United States is hearing oral arguments today in United States v. Texas, a case which will ultimately determine whether or not President Obama’s 2014 executive actions on immigration will be permitted to move forward. Obama’s 2014 executive actions, referred to as Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (expanded DACA), would potentially provide deportation relief and employment authorization for up to 5 million immigrants currently residing in the United States without legal immigration status.
Today, lawyers from the Obama Administration and the group of states who sued to obtain an injunction or legal order to block implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA in 2015 2015 will make their arguments before the Justices.
A lawyer for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund has also been permitted to give a brief statement on behalf of unauthorized immigrants who would benefit from DAPA. Additionally, an attorney will be speaking on behalf of the Republican controlled House of Representatives who oppose the President’s executive actions.
Early reports from today’s arguments indicate the Supreme Court justices were divided along ideological lines, with justices appointed by Republican presidents asking more challenging questions and justices appointed by Democratic presidents showing sympathy to the immigrants who would benefit from the program. If the Supreme Court is split 4-4 on the issue, the Fifth Circuit Appeals Court’s decision blocking DAPA and expanded DACA will remain in effect. The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision later this summer.