Delaware Delegation Reacts to Supreme Court Ruling on President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Congressman John Carney (D-Del.) released the following statement in reaction the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Texas. In a vote of 4-4, the Court blocked President Obama’s executive actions on the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs.

“I’m extremely disappointed by the Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision regarding President Obama’s efforts to help tens of thousands of children and families who have made a home in the United States,” said Senator Carper. “For many of the more than 11 million people living in this country without documentation, young adults in particular, America is the only home they’ve known. They’ve been living in our communities for years, abiding by the law, paying taxes, attending our schools, and in some cases, even honorably serving our nation in the military. They are American in every way, except on paper. In the absence of much-needed legislative action, President Obama has used his existing authority to bring some certainty to families across the country that would otherwise be living in constant fear. The original DACA program – which still stands – has helped tens of thousands of young adults step out of the shadows and contribute fully and openly to our communities. The President’s 2014 executive actions were an attempt to help a larger group of young adults, as well as the parents of many U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. They deserve this temporary relief, which would allow them to focus on school and work and go about their lives while the Congress dithers and refuses to do its job and fix our broken immigration system. We should be focusing on fixing our immigration system, not punishing families and kids who are trapped in this broken system.”

Carper continued, “It is also critical to note that today’s ruling was not an affirmative decision to block these executive actions, but a clear lack of a decision in the absence of a full bench. A 4-4 tie is a stark reminder of the damage being done to our country and our democracy by Republicans’ refusal to consider the nomination of Judge Garland to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Every member of the Senate has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, some of us many times over, and failing to consider this nomination is an abdication of our responsibilities to this country. It is unacceptable for us to continue playing partisan politics with the Constitution and hampering our country’s highest court. We know all too well that justice delayed is justice denied and that is exactly what we have witnessed today. The Senate must do its job and fill this vacancy to restore our Supreme Court to full strength.”

“The 4-4 decision by the Supreme Court today leaves millions of families and kids vulnerable to deportation with no path towards citizenship. It’s a clear demonstration of why we need comprehensive immigration reform – and how the Supreme Court vacancy has hobbled the Court’s ability to address our country’s most urgent problems,” said Senator Coons. “The Court’s inability to reach a decision today not only threatens to tear apart families who are already contributing to this country, but also leaves the United States without clarity on an issue at the heart of our identity. I’m disappointed by today’s decision, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to do our jobs and move forward with Chief Judge Merrick Garland’s confirmation.” 

“I’m extremely disappointed in this decision. It only underlines the dysfunction hampering our highest court as they sit without a full bench. Suspending these programs will tear apart families across the country, many of which are simply trying to achieve the American Dream. I will continue to urge my colleagues in the House to pass comprehensive immigration reform to address these issues,” Congressman Carney said.