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Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court To Take Up Immigration Case

"If left undisturbed, that ruling will allow States to frustrate the federal government’s enforcement of the Nation’s immigration laws," the Justice Department writes in asking for Supreme Court review. [Update: Texas officials are seeking delay on filing their response to the request, a move which, if granted, could push the case into the fall.]

Last updated on November 23, 2015, at 6:19 p.m. ET

Posted on November 20, 2015, at 10:45 a.m. ET

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration formally asked the Supreme Court to take up the appeal of the case challenging President Obama's immigration executive actions.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Nov. 9 that states, led by Texas, had the authority to sue the Obama administration over the 2014 order known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and that the program would continue to be put on hold because Obama lacked the authority to implement it as he did. The administration had said at the time that it would appeal the ruling.

"If left undisturbed, that ruling will allow States to frustrate the federal government’s enforcement of the Nation’s immigration laws," the administration lawyers write to the court. "The decision warrants immediate review."

Specifically, they write of the ruling, "It will force millions of people—who are not removal priorities under criteria the court conceded are valid, and who are parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents—to continue to work off the books, without the option of lawful employment to provide for their families. And it will place a cloud over the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who came to the United States as children, have lived here for years, and been accorded deferred action under the 2012 DACA policy, which respondents have never challenged."

The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to hear its appeal of that decision and reverse the decision, allowing the program to go into effect.

If the justices decide to hear the case by mid-January, it is likely that the case will be heard this term, which would mean a decision would be expected by the end of June.


On Monday, Texas officials asked the court for a 30-day delay for the deadline to file its response. Its letter to the court, posted by Politico, notes that the Obama administration plans to oppose the request.

If granted, the move could push the case into the court's next term, which will begin in October 2016, because the court generally accepts its final cases for its current term by mid-January. Texas, though, has asked to delay its response deadline to January 20, 2016.

Read the petition:

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.