SCOTUS deadlock leaves Delaware workers in shadows
A split decision by the Supreme Court Thursday blocks some undocumented immigrants in Delaware from working legally in the state.
President Obama announced an executive action in the fall of 2014 that would allow undocumented immigrants whose children are American citizens to obtain work permits. But Texas and 25 other states obtained a court injunction before it could take effect.
The Supreme Court could have overturned the injunction this week, but it reached a deadlocked 4-4 decision, meaning the injunction stands.
Delaware Senator Tom Carper blamed partisan politics for the Supreme Court's "non-decision."
"A 4-4 tie is a stark reminder of the damage being done to our country and our democracy by Republicans’ refusal to consider the nomination of Judge Garland to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court," he said.
This decision could play well for Democrats in the presidential election though.
"Hispanic and Latino voters are going to be energized to vote because they're directly effected by this decision," according to Matthew Hirsch, an adjunct professor of immigration law at Widener University’s Delaware Law School.
"On the other hand, it would have energized anti-immigration voters if the court voted to remove the injunction," he said.
The immigration policy in question, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), could have been beneficial for Delaware’s economy.
“Because you’re allowing individuals who are already here and have been here -and they have citizen children- to come out of the shadows and to more openly participate in the economy that they’re already participating in,” Hirsch said.
There are an estimated 22,000 undocumented immigrants living in Delaware, according to the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute.
These immigrants are working in industries in Delaware like construction, food service, hotels and agriculture.
The next president could tweak and re-implement Obama's executive action, or withdraw it entirely.