Donald Trump on Thursday praised the Supreme Court for blocking President Barack Obama’s executive immigration action.
“SC has kept us safe from exec amnesty–for now,” he tweeted. “But Hillary [Clinton] has pledged to expand it, taking jobs from Hispanic & African-American workers.”
The presumptive Republican nominee expanded on his thoughts in a lengthier statement released by his campaign shortly after posting the tweet.
“Today’s 4-4 Supreme Court ruling has blocked one of the most unconstitutional actions ever undertaken by a President,” he wrote. “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.”
“This split decision also makes clear what is at stake in November,” he continued. “The election, and the Supreme Court appointments that come with it will decide whether or not we have a border and, hence, a country.”
The Thursday decision, which regarded Obama’s plan to shield millions of immigrants living in the country illegally from deportation, upheld a lower court’s ruling and effectively ended the initiative through the end of the president’s term.
The court heard the challenge to Obama’s signature immigration-related actions back in mid-April,in what was one of the most closely watched cases of its term.
A 4-4 vote leaves in place the decision of the lower court in the case, United States v. Texas. That decision blocked the implementation of the actions.
The ruling is a huge blow for the Obama administration, and it raises the stakes for November’s election, as it hands off the issue to the next president. Trump has vowed to revoke Obama’s actions, while Clinton has said she would expand upon those actions.
“For more than two decades now our immigration system, everybody acknowledges, has been broken. And the fact that the Supreme Court wasn’t able to issue a decision today doesn’t just set the system back further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be,” Obama said in a press conference after the ruling.
The ninth seat on the court is vacant after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill Scalia’s seat, but Republicans have refused to hold hearings on his nomination and said the next president should fill the vacancy. A ninth justice could swing the balance if the issue is revisited.
Clinton, calling the result “unacceptable,” said the ruling shows “us all just how high the stakes are in this election.”
“This decision reminds us how much damage Senate Republicans are doing by refusing to consider President Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court,” she said. “Our families and our country need and deserve a full bench, and Senate Republicans need to stop playing political games with our democracy and give Judge Merrick Garland a fair hearing and vote.”
The former secretary of state also called out Trump in her statement, and said the ruling is a “stark reminder of the harm” he would cause.
“Trump has pledged to repeal President Obama’s executive actions on his first day in office,” she said. “He has called Mexican immigrants ‘rapists’ and ‘murderers.’ He has called for creating a deportation force” to tear 11 million people away from their families and their homes.”
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