AILA: SCOTUS Denies Rehearing in Deferred Action Case Leaving Millions of Immigrants Out in the Cold

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is disappointed with today’s Supreme Court decision denying the Department of Justice’s request for rehearing in United States v. Texas when a ninth Supreme Court justice is confirmed. Back in June, when an equally divided court issued its 4-4 decision, it let stand the temporary injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Southern District of Texas, barring implementation of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiatives.

AILA President William A. Stock noted, “By refusing to rehear the case when nine justices are in place, the Supreme Court has once again allowed state governments to block federal policy initiatives with which they disagree. While this decision continues the harm caused to millions of American children and their families by Judge Hanen’s injunction, its effect on future federal-state relations may be what is most pernicious. As a result of the decisions in this case so far, future presidents of both parties may find their actions in a host of policy areas blocked by governors of the opposing party. However, this case is far from over. Once a more complete record of the merits of Texas’ claims is created, we are confident that when the case is once again back on the Supreme Court docket, the Court will show appropriate deference to the executive branch and not legislate from the bench by enjoining this program permanently.”

Benjamin Johnson, AILA’s Executive Director, commented, “With this second ‘non-decision’ in United States v. Texas, the Court has again kicked the can back down the road to the federal district court in Texas. Meanwhile, the long wait continues for the millions of families and thousands of communities and businesses around the country that have been seeking relief from the dysfunction and injustice caused by our outdated and inhumane immigration laws. Congress failed to act. The President tried to act. And instead of breaking the log-jam, the Supreme Court joined those who want take a pass on immigration. The most important political question of this decade may be ‘Who is willing to lead on the issue of immigration?’ America deserves an answer.”


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 16100304.