“Today, the Supreme Court was unable to reach a decision,” President Barack Obama said in a news conference Thursday, following the high court’s tie vote on an immigration-policy issue. “This is part of the consequence of the Republicans’ failure so far to give a fair hearing to Mr. Merrick Garland.”
The court effectively blocked Obama’s plan to allow 5 million immigrants to remain in the United States though they were here illegally. The 4-4 decision upheld a lower court’s nationwide injunction against the administration’s 2014 deferred-action policy, Politico reported. The policy granted quasi-legal status to undocumented immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens or have green cards, known popularly as “Dreamers.”
Obama said the 730,000 Dreamers who benefited from his 2012 decision to “apply to work here and study here and pay their taxes here” will not be affected by Thursday’s decision. “Our Founders conceived of this country as a refuge for the world,” he said. “For more than two decades now, our immigration system—everybody acknowledges—has been broken.”
By contrast, House Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement calling the tie vote “a win for the Constitution” and “a win for Congress.” He added, “Presidents don’t write laws. Congress writes laws."