The U.S. Supreme Court has announced it will consider a legal challenge to President Obama‘s executive order on immigration.
The justices will decide if President Obama has the authority to halt the deportation of up to 5 million immigrants living in the United States illegally. The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, also known as DAPA, allows some adults that have resided illegally in America for more than five years to stay as long as they don’t have criminal records.
DAPA also provides protection for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
The High Court is expected to hear the case in April of this year and will issue a decision by June.
On Wednesday, Laura Vazquez, Senior Immigration Legislative Analyst for Latino advocacy group the National Council of La Raza, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the challenge to President Obama’s executive order on immigration and if he had the legal authority to issue it.
Vazquez explained that Pres. Obama “has the authority to decide how federal resources should be used. So his decision to take this step is based on strong legal and historical precedent.”
Vazquez blamed politicians on Capitol Hill for failing to do their jobs as the reason why Mr. Obama “had to act” in November of 2014 and attempt to fix America’s “broken immigration system” through executive order.
Vazquez expressed optimism and excitement that the Highest Court in the land will hear the case and believes the legal issues surrounding it “will be sorted out.” She looks forward to the implementation of DAPA, wherein millions would receive a “reprieve from deportation.”
When asked if the NCLR is concerned about the Conservative-leaning Supreme Court striking down Pres. Obama’s executive action, Vazquez said, “We don’t have a crystal ball to predict what the court will decide, but we are confident that the Department of Justice has a very strong case to make — that they have laid out all of the historical precedent for why the President does have the authority” to move on immigration.
She added, “Presidents from both parties, both Republicans and Democrats, have used their executive authority on immigration.”
NewsOne Now panelist Dr. Chris Metzler did not share Vazquez’s optimism, saying, “I don’t think the President has the authority to do this, and this silly argument that the President has acted because Congress has failed to act is nonsensical.”
Metzler said, “You cannot have a President legislating — that’s what happened in this particular case. The President said, ‘OK, they’ve (Congress) not done what they’re supposed to do, so I’m going to become a legislator.'”
He continued, “There’s a small thing called separation of powers.” Dr. Metzler highlighted another question added to this case: the Court must determine “whether or not the President faithfully executed his duties.”
Metzler also took issue with the idea that the Supreme Court will “make a decision that will “benefit the country.” According to Dr. Metzler, “The Court is going to strike this down” and not adhere to historical precedent.
Watch Roland Martin, Laura Vazquez, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the Supreme Court taking up the challenge to President Obama’s executive order on immigration in the video clip above.
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