Chief’s Counsel: United States v. Texas: Immigration Enforcement— Local or Federal Issue?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the United States v. Texas, which was issued on June 24, 2016, raised major questions about the U.S. president’s power to exercise discretion when enforcing immigration law.1 The court’s one-sentence affirmance of the Fifth Circuit’s decision does allow Texas and 25 other states to continue their suit challenging the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), a program that would grant millions of unauthorized immigrants a temporary reprieve from removal.2 The court’s decision also leaves in place the preliminary injunction against the president’s initiatives, thus halting implementation of the DAPA plan. However, the decision doesn’t answer the lingering questions concerning the debate around immigration enforcement and whether that should be a federal, state, or multi-faceted responsibility.

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