Late last November, President Obama decided to take some definitive steps to address immigration in response to a lack of a bill being passed. Through executive action, Obama sought to provide more resources to law enforcement personnel at the southern border, simplify the process for graduates to stay in the country and help build the economy, and allow present undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for over 5 years and meet several other criteria to apply to stay and become citizens. This action would affect nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants, shielding them from deportation.
Originally, this action received a lot of backlash because people opposed his taking matters into his own hands and sought a bill through Congress, which has yet to happen. In December, Texas even began a 26-state coalition to sue the Obama administration for its actions. To date, nothing yet has occurred and now it will be further delayed since last week, United States District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that Obama failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, which calls for the administration to give a longer notification and comment period before taking action. However, the White House believes they acted within the scope of their abilities and are reportedly confident that the Justice Department will repeal this ruling, though they are complying while they anticipate the decision’s reversal. Texas has a direct stake in this debate with their border accounting for a large amount of the US-Mexico border, and the coalition officials supported Judge Hanen’s decision. However, we have yet to see if it will stand under further scrutiny in the future.
Contributor: Raina Searles