Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

[226 128 139 ]Is Obama's[226 128 139 ] Immigration Plan Legal? Supreme Court Takes Up Case

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

[226 128 139 ]Is Obama's[226 128 139 ] Immigration Plan Legal? Supreme Court Takes Up Case

Article excerpt

The US Supreme Court has agreed to review President Obama's executive order to permit many illegal immigrants to work legally, a motion challenged by 26 states that could potentially free up to 5 million parents of US citizens to "come out of the shadows."

The high court expects to hear the case in April and decide by June, shortly before the Republican and Democratic National Conventions for the 2016 presidential race. Immigration has been a fiercely debated topic throughout the campaign, from Donald Trump's early calls to deport all illegal immigrants to Democratic candidates' recent alarm over the administration's raids in early January, which arrested more than 120 people who had exhausted their legal appeals to stay in the country.

But 26 states, mostly with Republican leadership, have challenged Mr. Obama's executive actions, called the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), which would have allowed many people who either entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas to find legal jobs. Most of those impacted would be parents of US citizens or of lawful permanent residents, and must have lived in the United States for at least five years.

DAPA would allow citizens' parents to "come out of the shadows and get right with the law," Obama said in late 2014.

The plan has been blocked by lower courts' decisions in favor of the states, rulings which prevented the administration from issuing work permits or limited federal benefits.

Texas, which has led the states' battle, has won every federal court case so far. The state argues that it can sue the administration because it would have to pay for new drivers' licenses for half a million people in Texas who would suddenly gain the right to a work permit, which would cost the state millions.

A November ruling in the state's favor, from the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, prompted the White House to appeal to the Supreme Court. …

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