News came late Thursday morning of the Supreme Court's ruling on United States v. Texas, No. 15-674, the challenge to the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. People can now read the Supreme Court's decision regarding Obama's immigration plan, in which the court was split in their ruling, according to The New York Times. The deadlock will uphold a lower court's ruling against the policy, blocking the plan that would have protected as many as five million undocumented immigrants from deportation. The brief can be read on the SCOTUS blog.
The plan, also known as DAPA, would have allowed parents of citizens and legal residents of the United States to apply for work permits and avoid deportation. The president took executive action in 2014 after years of failed attempts at bipartisan legislation to updated immigration laws. A Texas-led coalition of 26 states challenged the plan, charging that it was an abuse of power. Texas attorney general Ken Paxton said in a statement that "Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: one person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law." He continued: "This is a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law."
In his remarks on Thursday regarding the ruling, the president said, "I guarantee you at some point, every one of us has somebody in our background who people didn't want coming here." The president called the outcome "heartbreaking," according to NBC News, and assured undocumented immigrants that those who have been longtime law-abiding residents will continue to be a low priority for deportation.
The tie was possible due to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, and Congress' refusal to confirm Judge Merrick Garland, the replacement chosen by President Obama in March. House Speaker Paul Ryan called the ruling "a win for the Constitution, adding that "Presidents don't write laws, Congress writes laws." Unfortunately, the current contentious climate of a strongly partisan Congress means that they're actually not writing any laws, opting instead to fight bitterly without action. The Supreme court's ruling was announced during day two of a Democratic sit-in on the House floor as a result of lawmakers' refusal to compromise on gun control reform. The House adjourned for its holiday break without any concessions from either side. They'll return on July 5, where they will most likely still accomplish nothing.