SC tie is a ‘huge blow’ to immigrant rights

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The bad news hit Zaira Garcia like a punch to the stomach. “This was a huge blow,” she told me over the phone, her voice broken by tears. “I haven’t even told my parents yet. They don’t know.”

She’s referring to the Supreme Court’s 4-4 split vote this morning on a landmark immigration case that essentially puts a kibosh on DAPA and expanded-DACA, two executive actions by President Obama designed to provide temporary deportation relief and work permits for 4 million undocumented immigrants. The tie upholds a lower court ruling that determined the president does not have the constitutional authority to change immigration policy by decree.

The case could go back before the Supreme Court when it’s fully staffed again, but the fate of DAPA and expanded-DACA have never looked worse. As of now, there’s no immigration relief in sight for millions of families like the Garcias who had been banking on Obama’s executive actions as their last best chance to shield themselves from separation and deportation.

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