Divided Panel Rejects Obama Immigration Actions; High Court Review Likely


A federal appeals panel rejected President Barack Obama’s effort to move forward with executive actions he announced last year seeking to give quasi-legal status and work permits to millions of illegal immigrants, reports Politico. Yesterday’s 2-1 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit may have come just in the nick of time to give the Supreme Court the chance to revive Obama’s attempt to make it easier for many immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally to live and work here. The timing of the appeals court’s decision had concerned the Obama administration and immigrant rights’ groups.

Obama’s latest round of executive actions have been on hold since February and delay in the issuance of the appeals court’s ruling was raising doubt about whether the Supreme Court would have an opportunity to resolve the case in time to allow Obama to move forward with the programs before leaving office. Now the high court appears to have enough time to take up the dispute this term, if the justices choose to wade into the issue. A favorable Supreme Court ruling would permit the administration to implement the executive actions next summer. Dissenting Judge Carolyn King complained that the appeals court’s ruling had been unreasonably delayed. “I have a firm and definite conviction that a mistake has been made. That mistake has been exacerbated by the extended delay that has occurred in deciding this ‘expedited’ appeal. There is no justification for that delay,” she said.

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