On Thursday, the Supreme Court voted in a 4-4 deadlock regarding the Obama immigration initiative, a program which would have shielded millions of undocumented Americans from deportation. The ruling effectively rendered the plan dead. Of course, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump wasted no time in praising SCOTUS’ decision. You can read Trump's statement in full:
Today's 4-4 Supreme Court ruling has blocked one of the most unconstitutional actions ever undertaken by a President. 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. The election, and the Supreme Court appointments that come with it will decide whether or not we have a border and, hence, a country. Clinton has pledged to expand Obama's executive amnesty, hurting poor African-American and Hispanic workers by giving away their jobs and federal resources to illegal immigrant labor – while making us all less safe. It is time to protect our country and Make America Safe Again and Great Again for everyone.
Trump essentially doubled down on his pledge to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living within U.S. borders. This might not seem like a big deal, since Trump calls pretty much everything Obama does one of the most unconstitutional actions ever undertaken by a president. But it comes at a time when Trump really, really needs to be courting Latino voters.
Obama’s plan would have granted legal protection to undocumented parents whose children are legal U.S. residents, as well as try to grant further benefits and protections to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. It might have protected as many as five million undocumented immigrants from being deported, The New York Times reported. Much of the driving motive behind this is the desire to keep families together.
As the primary season closes and the general election begins, Trump has demonstrated possible baby steps away from taco-bowl-type stunts and into a new, albeit still disturbing, message of inclusivity. This is a strategy he should really stick to in order to survive in November, as he is so hated by Latinos that record numbers of them are registering to vote just to vote against him, It’s been a few weeks since his racist remarks about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, and still longer since we’ve heard him talk about Mexican rapists and whatnot.
But here Trump is celebrating the defeat of a plan which could have kept millions of Latino families from being torn apart. The Mexican border wall is such an integral part of his campaign that it’s hard to imagine him saying anything less, but given his need for Latino outreach at the moment, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had couched it with some grand promise or other about how he will still be very good for them. Perhaps he thinks he doesn’t need that particular demographic to win.
Image: Bustle/Dawn Foster