Obama’s “Come Out of the Shadows” plans have not achieved desired results. The US president’s plan, developed to enforce deportation laws, now faces a major blockade after the state of Texas won a court case against Obama’s team.
The US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an order that blocks the plan from being executed. The judges argued that this executive order is not only about improving some laws; it is about rewriting them. They determined that Obama’s plans rewrite the law, which is something that cannot take effect by an executive order without gaining approval from Congress.
The president’s lawyers have protested this decision unsuccessfully so far. Judge Jerry Smith has stated that the execution of this executive order would mean allowing millions of illegal immigrants to access a host of state benefits, such social security pension, health insurance, and other such incentives.
The decision by the court has paved the way for another heated debate in the Supreme Court. The major issue in question will be whether President Obama is merely enforcing existing immigration laws or attempting to change them altogether. Texas and 25 other Republican-led states are on one side of the argument, while Obama and the Democratic-led states such as California will be on the other side.
Winning this fight will be an uphill battle for the US President. A large number of highly influential people have condemned Obama for taking such action, and they view his use of executive authority as a step too far.
Obama’s representatives have termed this step as a temporary and limited initiative. They have stressed that no immigrant will be offered such rights as those enjoyed by US citizens, and neither will they be offered a path to citizenship.
Bypassing Congress through executive order is a strategy that has been used by Obama’s predecessors as well. However, Obama’s plan to change the immigration law was something that worried immigration experts from the very start. More than 5 million people living illegally in the United States would have benefitted from the president’s plan, but the judges who ruled against it are of the view that it would add an element of discrimination to the immigration laws.
Obama’s lawyer will soon file an appeal in the Supreme Court in order to get an early ruling on the case, and immigration law scholars, who have supported Obama throughout the course of this controversy, are confident that in the end, the Supreme Court will rule in favour of the bill. Cornell Law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr has argued that ultimately, the Supreme Court will rule that the executive order be upheld.
Obama’s lawyers will now be looking for a win and a quick hearing in this regard. And if they manage to convince the justices to take up the case by January of next year, the case can conclude in the summer of 2016, the final year of Obama’s presidency. This will give the president apt time to implement the policy.