WASHINGTON— A Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the President Barack Obama’s immigration plan. The program would have provided nearly five million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to legally work in the United States.
The 4-4 tie vote left no national precedent. The one-sentence ruling
was the latest defeat for Mr. Obama in the courts. The decision was just nine words long: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.”
Mr. Obama said the ruling was a deep disappointment for immigrants who would not be able to emerge from the threat of deportation for at least the balance of his term.
He said. “Today’s decision is frustrating to those who seek to grow our economy and bring a rationality to our immigration system,” he added. “It is heartbreaking for the millions of immigrants who have made their lives here.”
The ruling was announced by Chief Justice John Roberts. Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February left the court with only eight justices. The president, with two lower-court strikes against him, needed an elusive fifth vote.
Mr. Obama said. “If you keep on blocking judges from getting on the bench, then courts can’t issue decisions,” he said. “And what that means is then you are going to have the status quo frozen, and we are not able to make progress on some very important issues.”
“I believe that this country deserves an immigration policy that reflects the goodness of the American people.”
Mrs. Clinton called the Supreme Court’s decision “unacceptable” and said families needed “relief from the specter of deportation.” The former secretary of state added that in her first 100 days in office, she would introduce an immigration plan that included “a path to citizenship.”
Mr. Trump said in a statement, “The executive amnesty from President Obama wiped away the immigration rules written by Congress, giving work permits and entitlement benefits to people illegally in the country.”
Mr. Obama said the White House did not believe the terse ruling from the court had any effect on the president’s authority to act unilaterally. But he said the practical effect would be to freeze his efforts on behalf of immigrants until after the November election.