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SCOTUS rejects reconsideration of immigration ruling


The U.S. Supreme Court has declined the Obama administration’s request to reconsider a controversial immigration program that would have let millions of undocumented immigrants stay in the country legally.

The program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, would have shielded about 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. It was scheduled to take effect in February 2015 but was halted that month by a U.S. district judge in Brownsville, who ruled that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs how federal regulations are made and how much input the public has.

Texas brought the initial suit against the federal government; 25 states eventually joined in.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals twice upheld the district court’s ruling, and the Supreme Court heard arguments on the case in April. The high court announced in June that it was deadlocked 4-4, which left the injunction blocking the program in place.

In July the White House asked the Supreme Court if it would reconsider the case when it had a full bench. The court is still one short since the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia. On Monday, the court announced it would not.

See here for the background. This is far from the end of the story, since this was a preliminary injunction, and the case has not yet been scheduled for a hearing on its merits. Whatever happens then, there will be another round of appeals, and eventually SCOTUS will get involved whether it likes it or not. In addition, as this was a nationwide injunction issued by a federal district court judge, it is entirely possible that a lawsuit originating in a different federal district could lead to a conflicting result. Indeed, such a challenge has already been filed.

Martin Jonathan Batalla Vidal is an undocumented immigrant and long-term resident of New York, where he’s lived since his arrival from Mexico nearly 20 years ago. Vidal makes his home in Queens, and, like many other young aspiring Americans, he studies hard to finish his education — he’d like to become a medical assistant — and helps support his family.

In November 2014, Vidal filed an application for Deferred Action under DACA 2012; the deportation deferral program enacted by the Obama administration in 2012 which offers qualified immigrant youth a temporary deportation reprieve and a work permit. In early 2015, based on DACA+, which expanded the deportation deferral period of DACA 2012 from two to three years, Vidal was granted a three-year work permit.

Then, 2,000 miles away, in a federal courthouse in Brownsville, Texas, Judge Andrew Hanen issued an order blocking DAPA and DACA+. Consequently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security abruptly revoked Vidal’s 3-year work permit and replaced it with a 2 year card.

Vidal was not party to the Texas immigration case. Judge Hanen had no personal jurisdiction over him, nor did he ever set foot in Hanen’s courtroom.

So Vidal has asked the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to declare that Hanen’s “nationwide” injunction against DAPA and DACA+ should not apply to immigrants who live outside the 5th circuit. Vidal asked the court to enjoin the DHS from revoking his 3 year work permit; in effect asking the court to issue an injunction against Hanen’s injunction.

It would appear that he may have found a judge sympathetic to that position and not inclined to feel bound by Judge Hanen’s order. So we’ll see what happens from there, assuming that judge does indeed contradict Hanen. Until then, score one for Republican obstruction. Think Progress, Daily Kos, and America’s Voice has more.

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  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Good news! The president can’t just write his own laws. That’s what we have a Congress for. As for Martin, he’s welcome to return with his family to Mexico, so they can all be together in a place where they aren’t violating the law. Simple, right?

    For those that see this as a loss, question: would you feel comfortable with President Trump writing his own immigration laws, disregarding the laws in place? As flawed as things are, there’s a reason we have a Congress.

  2. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Bill, yes we have the congress we have because of the way the Republicans (not that Democrats don’t engage in that) have drawn districts. Gerrymandered based on party, rather than race, but in essence it is based on race as you will find that they are primarily white.

    For the Republicans it is much easier as there is one main group and they are about 90% white. Whereas the Democrats have a lot of groups to try to satisfy.

    As to Martin, what makes you think his family is in Mexico? They are probably here, you know that illegal army taking over America.

  3. Bill Daniels says:


    ” As for Martin, he’s welcome to return with his family to Mexico…..”

    When you return WITH your family, that means they are all there, together, returning to their home country. If his family was back in Mexico, then he would be returning TO them.


    And you are correct……Martin and his family ARE part of that illegal/irregular army occupying America.