Recent Immigration Rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court

Disappointingly, the U.S. Supreme Court held 6-3 that Texas’s SB4 could go into effect. The most controversial aspects of the bill allow state police officers to act as border patrol agents in making arrests, and even allows state court judges to issue deportation orders. The majority did not rule on the constitutionality of the bill, and shortly after the decision, a lower court has blocked the enforcement of the policy.

The decision creates significant confusion at the border and runs contrary to U.S. law as immigration enforcement is dictated by the federal government, not the states. By punting the issue of Texas SB4’s constitutionality to lower courts and allowing the law to go into effect, SCOTUS becomes a further politicized part of government and diminishes its institutional integrity.

In a positive decision, the Supreme Court held 6-3 in Wilkerson v. Garland that hardship determinations in non-LPR cancellation of removal cases were questions of law, and therefore merit judicial review. Previously, federal courts could not review adverse decisions when the sole issue was hardship. This decision will expand due process to individuals seeking relief in immigration court.



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