It’s a crushing blow to the White House, with the Supreme Court announcing Thursday a split decision on President Barack Obama’s controversial immigration plan.
The one-sentence ruling means the programs will remain blocked from taking effect, and the issue will return to the lower court. It is extremely unlikely they will go into effect for the duration of Obama’s presidency, CNN reports.
“For more than two decades now our immigration system, everybody acknowledges, has been broken,” Obama says in comments from the White House. “The fact that the Supreme Court wasn’t able to issue a decision today doesn’t just set the system back even further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be.”
According to CNN, the ruling will affect more than four million undocumented immigrants seeking to come out of the shadows and apply for these programs to remain in the United States.
Immediately after Obama announced them in late 2014, Texas and 25 other states challenged the plans, ultimately leading to their nationwide blockage by a federal district court the following year.
“Today’s lack of decision by the Supreme Court is a heartbreaking loss for the families that will still be living in the shadows and face the daily threat of deportation and separation from loved ones,” says Mayor and New Jersey State Senator Nicholas Sacco.
Sacco says the decision will not only affect undocumented families but countless parents of US citizens as well. He calls it a true injustice.
“Decisions and topics like these are why elections matter,” the senator says. “The Democratic Party lead by Hillary Clinton has pledged their full support for a comprehensive immigration reform that will protect families and keep them together.”
Clinton criticized the ruling, calling it unacceptable and heartbreaking, CNN reports.
“(It) shows us all just how high the stakes are in this election,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee says in a statement.
According to Sacco, unfortunately on the other side of the aisle, this is nothing more than a game of politics, as Republicans in Congress refuse to ratify President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland as Supreme Court Justice.
“We must stand behind those families that came to this land for a chance to better themselves and have done nothing but contribute to this great nation,” Sacco says.