UPDATE 12:50 p.m. EST — Presidential candidates weighed in on the Supreme Court's decision Tuesday to review President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has been outspoken about his criticism of the president, said he would end Obama's orders if he is elected president.
I'm confident SCOTUS will agree Obama executive orders are unconstitutional. Regardless, as president, I will end them.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 19, 2016
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, expressed support for Obama's program.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 19, 2016
UPDATE: 12:25 p.m. EST — Several politicians, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president, responded to the news Tuesday that the Supreme Court would review the challenges against Obama's executive actions on immigration.
“I am delighted that the Supreme Court agreed to review the lower court ruling against President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The president did exactly the right thing when he took action to protect Dreamers and the parents of children who are citizens or legal permanent residents,” Sanders said in a statement Tuesday. “I am confident the president has the legal authority to take this bold action. Clearly the best form of action is for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform to put undocumented people on a path toward citizenship. But if Congress fails to act, as president I would uphold and expand the president's action.”
Rep. Linda Sánchez, D-Calif., the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, also issued a statement in support of the president's executive actions, calling the court's decision to hear the case "a step in the right direction."
“Every president since Ronald Reagan has used their executive authority to act on immigration. Like Republican and Democratic presidents before him, President Obama used his authority given to him by Congress to end the uncertainty millions of families have been living with for far too long," Sánchez said in a statement. "The President’s executive actions on immigration would end the fear of deportation for an estimated 5 million people, many with mixed-status families. We in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are optimistic the Supreme Court will rule in favor of extended DACA and DAPA."
UPDATE: 10:55 a.m. EST — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement Tuesday in support of President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions, saying he hopes the Supreme Court will rule in the president's favor.
“Today, tens of thousands of families in New York City and millions across the country move one step closer to the justice they deserve. We’re hopeful that the Supreme Court will soon affirm, as the settled law of the land, that President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration is lawful, and that immigrant parents and children across the country are respected and protected,” de Blasio said in a statement.
The New York mayor is part of a coalition of more than 80 cities and counties around the country that has filed three amicus briefs in support of the president's executive actions.
The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide whether President Barack Obama has the authority to let millions of undocumented immigrants stay and work in the United States without fear of deportation. The court is expected to hear the case against Obama’s executive actions on immigration in April and aims to make a decision before it adjourns in June, the New York Times reported.
Obama’s program, called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, was introduced in 2014. It would allow as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants who are the parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to stay in the U.S. and apply for work permits if they have been here for five years and not committed any felonies or repeated misdemeanors.
The administration says it created the program after Congress failed to pass immigration reform. But a group of 26 states, led by the Texas attorney general, filed a lawsuit and accused the president of abusing his authority by moving around Congress.
The case has gone through multiple rounds with lower courts, and the parties have been waiting to find out if the Supreme Court would weigh in since last year. Last February, a federal District Court judge in Texas entered a preliminary injunction halting the program while the case made its way through the legal system. The White House appealed, but a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the injunction in November.
If the Supreme Court allows Obama’s actions to remain in effect, the administration has said it will move quickly to enact the policy before the president leaves office next January. While Democratic presidential candidates have said they would continue the program, most Republicans want to get rid of it and move in the opposite direction. Republicans in Congress and in the 2016 presidential campaign have said Obama is overreaching with his executive actions.
The Supreme Court has rejected two challenges to Obama’s healthcare law, but many Republicans still want to dismantle that, as well.