Obama Asks the Supreme Court to Take Up the Fight Over Immigration

The futures of 5 million people are on the line.

Supporters of Obama's executive action on immigration rally at the Supreme Court in Washington on November 15.J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court on Friday to take up a case that has stymied the president’s sweeping executive actions on immigration. President Obama’s executive orders, announced a year ago today, would have given temporary legal status to the undocumented parents of US citizens and expanded a program to protect immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children. Nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants would have been shielded from deportation.

Although the federal government is largely in control of immigration policy, Texas led 25 other states in opposing the measure, arguing that Obama’s executive actions overreached his authority and would force the states to provide services to the immigrants or modify their laws. They took their objections to court and the program has been suspended since February. The administration appealed the decision, but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 earlier this month to uphold the earlier decision blocking the measure. 

The lower court’s decision “will force millions of people…to continue to work off the books, without the option of lawful employment to provide for their families,” the Department of Justice wrote in its petition to the Supreme Court. “And it will place a cloud over the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who came to the United States as children, have lived here for years, and been accorded deferred action.”


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.