Leaders in Texas have attempted to gather enough support among other state governments to block President Obama’s executive order that would grant deportation relief to millions of undocumented immigrants already in the country. In fact, Texas has managed to get over 20 other states on its side. Thus far, groups from this side of the immigration reform debate have successfully delayed Obama’s executive order at the level of the lower courts. Now, all the attention has turned to the highest court in the land: the Supreme Court.
Despite the fact that delays in controversial rulings like these are fairly common, the stakes are raised in this particular case due to the timing of it all. President Obama is on his way out of the White House, but has fought hard over the last year to see that this executive order would go into effect before that happens. Many political analysts speculate that if the administration is unsuccessful in implementing such an executive order before the end of its term, the reform will most likely not be passed. In other words, it’s now or never.
Lone Star State leading the charge
Leaders in Texas were the ones to make the first move in this case. Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller and others wrote a letter urging the Supreme Court to delay the start date of the legal proceedings surrounding the proposed immigration reform, citing the Solicitor General office’s “busy schedule.” If the Supreme Court grants such an extension, it’s likely that there will be no action on the executive order until June 2017, over two years after it was proposed and with a new administration in the White House, according to Bloomberg.
The White House fights back
The Obama administration, on the other hand, has requested the opposite. Rather than delay any action on such an executive order, it filed a request to expedite the ruling on the matter. The goal is to get it done while Obama is still in the White House. The U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. organized a letter to the Supreme Court on behalf of supporters of the executive order.
“The effect of such a delay would be to prolong for an additional year the disruption of federal immigration policy and the irreparable harm of denial of work authorization and other protections to millions of people who would be eligible for those protections if the policy is upheld,” Verrilli and others wrote in the letter.