WASHINGTON TIMES — In a rare instance when a tie score was really a win, the 4-4 Supreme Court decision on President Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrants represented a victory for the rule of law. The deadlocked court means the merits will finally be addressed while the president has been blocked from bestowing legal residency upon an entire class of people. Without question, this is good news. But the celebrations should be muted, as there are many other disastrous Obama policies still in place, with many more illegal immigration problems still to be addressed.
What the court has blocked is Mr. Obama’s expansion of his existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, along with the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) policy. Under the DACA expansion announced in 2014, legal presence was granted to illegal immigrants claiming to have been present in the United States since before they turned 16, and who claimed continuous residency since 2010, among other criteria. DACA also included work authorization. Under DAPA, legal presence was granted to people who had lived in the country since 2010 and were parents of citizens or legal residents. Both of these programs were challenged by 26 states in United States v. Texas and are now on hold pending the lower court’s decision.
Regardless of the outcome of the case, other Obama policies excusing and rewarding unlawful entry and residency in the United States are still in force. The underlying DACA policy, announced two years earlier in 2012, is still in effect and includes those claiming continuous presence dating all the way from 2007. A bigger concern is Mr. Obama’s Priority Enforcement Program, replacing the successful Secure Communities policy, which exempts nearly 90 percent of all illegal immigrants and allows an unacceptable number of criminal illegal immigrants to remain in the country. Similarly, Mr. Obama’s immigration authorities released more than 86,000 criminal illegal immigrants back into American communities between 2013 and 2015, including murderers and rapists. There can be no doubt that while the Supreme Court ruling was a welcome suspension of DAPA and expanded DACA, the surviving Obama policies are still harmful to the rule of law and public safety.