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U.S. Supreme Court to hear case challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration

By Tajuddin
Jan 20th, 2016

President Barack Obama in signing of document

President Barack Obama in signing of document

Washington (Xinhua + DIPLOMAT.SO)- The U.S. Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it would hear the case that challenges President Barack Obama’s executive actions to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

The court will review a ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in November that upheld the decision by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas to halt Obama’s actions.

Obama issued an executive order in 2014 to shield about 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation, a move that bypassed the Republican-dominated Congress.

The action was directed at people who have no criminal records and whose children are U.S. citizens. Under the order, they will get working permits and receive some federal benefits.

Obama already issued a similar order in 2012 to exempt those who became illegal immigrants as children from deportation. There have been more than 600,000 people who have successfully applied for this program.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision on the immigration case at end of June.

If Obama wins the case, he will preserve one of the key legacies in his eight-year presidency. This will also shape the debate on immigration among presidential candidates in this election year.

Facing insurmountable opposition in the Republican-controlled Congress, Obama has repeatedly resorted to the issuance of presidential executive orders to take actions on critical issues such as healthcare reform, immigration, and gun control. The Republicans have blasted such actions as unconstitutional because they bypassed Congress that is the sole lawmaking body.

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