The House will take what Republicans call an unprecedented step of voting to file a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court officially opposing President Obama’s deportation amnesty, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Tuesday.
Mr. Ryan cast the upcoming vote as a constitutional crisis, rather than an immigration issue — but the vote is likely to be colored by the broader fight over illegal immigration.
“This executive amnesty is a direct attack on the Congress’s Article I powers under the Constitution,” Mr. Ryan said. “The president is not permitted to write law. Only Congress is. The House will make that very clear.”
Mr. Obama two years announced a policy of granting what he called “deferred action” to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants he said had deep ties to the U.S. Under the policy, they would be granted three-year stays of deportation, given the chance to work legally, and to apply for tax cuts and some other government benefits.
Texas and dozens of other states sued, and lower courts have blocked the policy.
The case is now pending before the Supreme Court, which is rushing to hear oral arguments and to potentially rule by the end of June.
SEE ALSO: Top border chief to agents who object to Obama amnesty: ‘Look for another job’
Mr. Obama said he went ahead with his deportation amnesty after seeing Congress refuse to pass his broad immigration reform plans, including a full pathway to citizenship for most illegal immigrants.
After he announced his policy in November 2014, the president said he “acted to change the law” — a comment that the federal courts have said damaged his case, since only Congress, not the president, has the power to write laws.
• Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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