Supreme Court Tie Dooms Obama Immigration Policy

Pete Williams
NBC News
June 23, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court split 4-4 Thursday over a challenge to President Obama's immigration policy, a result that prevents the administration from putting the program into effect during the rest of his term.

The split was reflected in a one sentence statement from the court: "The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court."

Announced in late 2014, it would shield more than four million people — mostly Latinos — from deportation. But lower courts blocked its implementation after Texas and 25 other states sued, claiming the president had no power to order the changes.

The ruling deals a blow to a White House which has used executive actions to push forward immigration reform in the wake of congressional inaction and President Barack Obama who has sought to rewrite a legacy that had some inLatino activist circles calling him "the deporter-in-chief."

There have been more than 2 million deportations in Obama's tenure.

The president on Thursday stressed that people who have been in the country for a long time and are otherwise law abiding will remain lower deportation priorities.

He said the tie was "heartbreaking" for millions of immigrants.