A case challenging President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration will go before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, the high court announced Tuesday.
Arguments in the case will be held in April, and a Supreme Court decision is expected by June.
The executive orders, signed in November 2014, remain on hold amid a legal challenge from a group of 26 mostly Republican-run states.
Obama's immigration actions look to shield undocumented parents of children with legal status from deportation for three years, in addition to extending deferred action to undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and were not covered under the original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Meg McCarthy, executive director at the Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center, released the following statement in response to Tuesday's news regarding SCOTUS and Obama's executive actions on immigration:
Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) welcomes today's announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument on the Obama administration's appeal of a federal court case challenging the president's expansion of deferred action for immigrants.
In November 2014, President Obama introduced immigration executive actions creating Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and expanding the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). If implemented, these initiatives would have provided relief to approximately five million immigrants with strong family ties in the United States and would have reaped enormous financial benefits for our country and local communities. Unfortunately, a politically motivated lawsuit by 26 state governors has delayed the implementation of these programs, and stalled the economic benefits American communities will gain by allowing immigrant families to live and work without fear of deportation.
NIJC's August 2015 survey of 200 Illinois residents who obtained temporary protection under the 2012 DACA program (which has not been affected by the lawsuit) demonstrated overwhelming benefits for communities when people have access to legal status and are able to pursue work and educational opportunities. Sixty-eight percent of Illinois DACA recipients have become financially independent, growing Illinois's tax base. Americans lose out each day that passes without executive action or common-sense immigration reform.
Litigation against the deferred action programs has left thousands of American families in limbo, with the threat of deportation looming large over millions living in mixed status families. Every day, NIJC sees families at risk of separation who are desperate for immigration relief. NIJC is confident that the Supreme Court, expected to hear the case this spring, will find that the administration's actions were lawful.