Obama’s DAPA Program Blocked by U.S. Supreme Court Decision

On June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) tied on its decision involving President Barack Obama’s DAPA program; meaning, the program has not been rejected, but rather pushed back to the appeals level with the possibility of still being enacted at a later time.
In 2014, President Obama attempted to overhaul current immigration laws by enacting a program called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”). This program concerns five million unauthorized immigrants, who are the parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents. These immigrants would be spared from deportation and be granted work permits in order for them to provide for their families by legally working in the U.S.A. This would positively affect the U.S. labor markets by reducing exploitation and distortion.
Usually, when the President of the United States of America wants to change a law, it must be passed through Congress. However, President Obama did not do so when he attempted to enact DAPA because he did not view it as a change in the law but rather as a change in the administration’s prosecutorial discretion when deciding whether or not to deport an unauthorized immigrant. This caused 26 States (Texas as the leader) to challenge the President’s executive action because they thought Obama was overstepping and abusing his power as the President by simply ignoring the set procedures for changing laws. These States wished for the adherence to the administrative procedures because if they were ignored, it would set a precedent that future presidents could change the laws without first going through Congress; thus, slowly crumbling the checks and balances system between the three executive branches of the U.S. Government.
Therefore, when the SCOTUS voted 4-4 on the issue, it did not reject the DAPA program, but returned it to the court of appeals, where it will be argued again. This means, there is still hope for a change in current immigration laws.
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Reinhard von Hennigs