CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES — On Monday the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case that has the potential to be the most important in the nation’s history. It is no exaggeration to say that United States v. Texas will determine whether America is a nation of laws or whether it has become a banana republic.
This case involves the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (better known as DAPA) program. This is an expansion of the earlier Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As the names suggest, DACA applies to illegal aliens who came to the country as children and DAPA applies to illegal aliens who have children who are citizens or permanent residents.
Under both of these programs qualified illegal aliens apply and pay a $465 fee. After the government reviews and approves an application (effectively a rubber stamp), the illegal alien becomes “lawfully present” in the United States and receives a work permit.
Twenty-six states filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas to challenge the DAPA program. The states alleged that the DAPA program (1) violates the president’s constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”; (2) DAPA was promulgated without public notice and comment; and (3) DAPA is in excess of agency authority.
The outcome of United States v. Texas will determine whether Congress is the constitutional master of the immigration system or whether the president now has shared authority with Congress to create immigration policy through regulation.
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