The Obama administration has officially appealed to the Supreme Court to allow President Obama’s executive amnesty program to move forward.
The appeal comes exactly a year after Obama announced his sweeping actions to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation and grant them work permits last November. Two lower courts have since blocked the administration from moving forward with the plans.
Earlier this month, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s injunction that first stopped the program in February. The appeals’ court agreed with the lower court’s halt in a 2-1 decision, ruling in favor of the coalition of 26 states — led by Texas — that are challenging the executive actions.
“If left undisturbed, that ruling [of the appeals court] will allow States to frustrate the federal government’s enforcement of the Nation’s immigration laws,” the Justice Department argues in its petition to the Supreme Court.
“It will force millions of people— who are not removal priorities under criteria the court conceded are valid, and who are parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents—to continue to work off the books, without the option of lawful employment to provide for their families,” the petition added.
Immigrant-rights groups cheered the move and the administration’s continued push for executive amnesty.
“Today’s action sends a huge message to the Latino community that the Obama administration is keeping its word to defend DAPA and DACA-plus before the highest court in the land,” Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota said in a statement.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) reiterated the contention of many Republicans Friday after the administration appealed.
“The President clearly acted outside the law when he went around Congress to unilaterally change our nation’s immigration laws, and I’m confident the State of Texas will ultimately prevail in this case,” he said.
Cornyn added that the Obama administration should work with Congress rather than trying to defend the “unconstitutional executive order.”