(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. Supreme Court has denied the Obama administration’s petition to rehear United States v. Texas, a case that challenged Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s 2012 decision to defer enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws without congressional approval.
The “deferred action” was for “certain aliens who have lived in the United States for five years and either came here as children or already have children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents” under DHS’ Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs.
However, Texas and 25 other states challenged the DACA and DAPA programs, arguing that conferring “lawful presence” status and rights to certain federal benefits to as many as four million illegal aliens was itself unlawful and would adversely affect them.
On June 23 in a split 4-4 decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the Fifth U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling last November striking down the administration’s executive action on deferred enforcement and upholding a lower court injunction against implementing it.
“At its core, this case is about the Secretary’s decision to change the immigration classification of millions of illegal aliens on a class-wide basis. The states properly maintain that DAPA’s grant of lawful presence and accompanying eligibility for benefits… is substantively contrary to law,” the appeals court ruling stated.
“Even with ‘special deference’ to the Secretary, the INA [Immigration and Naturalization Act] does not permit the reclassification of millions of illegal aliens as lawfully present and thereby make them newly eligible for a host of federal and state benefits, including work authorization,” it concluded.
On Monday the high court denied without comment the administration’s petition for a rehearing of the case when the court is back up to its full strength with nine justices.
“The State of Texas’ position has been validated by the U.S. Supreme Court today as they denied the Obama administration’s petition to rehear the immigration case,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.
“Rewriting national immigration law requires the full and careful consideration of Congress. This is the latest setback to the president’s attempt to expand executive power and another victory for those who believe in the Constitution’s separation of powers and the rule of law,” he added.