There has been much speculation about how popular President Obama’s immigration policy is with the general population. When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its verdict on the President’s flagship immigration actions, it was a disappointing blow to the administration.
But while the justices were split over the decision that could affect more than 4 million undocumented immigrants, there is evidence of support for the deferred action measures outlined by the president.
The 4-4 ruling in June came seven months before the President’s term in office ends. It means immigration reform is practically dead in the water until a new president is elected and appoints a ninth Supreme Court judge.
The Supreme Court considered the case of United States. v. Texas, a lawsuit brought by 26 states against the contentious executive actions allowing certain undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S.
The two deferred actions in question were Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). They would give deferred action status to some undocumented parents who lived in the US since 2010 who have children and some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children. DACA was set up in 2012 but its expansion was discussed by the courts. The expansion would make an additional 270,000 people eligible for DACA.
You can read more about the programs here on our website.
Notwithstanding the opposition of states, the programs appear to be less contentious and popular with the general public.
Take the PRRI/RNS survey from a year ago that found 73 percent of Americans support DAPA. Although much has been made of the opposition of Republican-led states, 65 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of Democrats were supportive of DAPA.
Research Found the DREAM Act was Popular
Research also found that 66 percent of Americans backed the DREAM Act, a policy that would allow undocumented immigrants who arrived in America as children to obtain legal status by joining the military or attending a college. The DREAM Act has stalled in Congress.
Last year, a CNN poll also suggested the President’s flagship policy was popular. It found just a quarter of Americans thought Obama’s immigration policies went too far, while half of those who responded agreed with it. Another 22 percent said deferred action did not go far enough in reforming the immigration system.
However, the survey found a majority of the respondents – 56 percent – thought the President had gone too far in using executive action to override opposition.
We are concerned that the alternative to deferred action is families being broken apart by deportation. The fact that deferred action not been implemented has left the lives of millions of immigrants in limbo at a time when they could be making a valuable contribution to the economy of Texas.