RELEASE: Justices Acknowledge the Federal Government’s Authority over Immigration Enforcement When Confronted With State Opposition
WASHINGTON, DC – Following oral argument at the Supreme Court this morning in United States v. Texas, a case in which the Supreme Court is considering whether the Department of Homeland Security guidance on immigration enforcement priorities is lawful, Constitutional Accountability Center Appellate Counsel Smita Ghosh issued the following reaction:
While today’s oral argument focused primarily on Texas’s standing to bring the case, several justices called the state’s arguments into question by acknowledging the federal government’s long-standing prosecutorial discretion in the immigration context. Many justices, including Justice Kavanaugh, drew parallels to the government’s discretion in criminal cases—echoing points CAC made in a brief in the case. Indeed, the brief, which we filed on behalf of former immigration officials who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, explains that the executive branch enjoys substantial discretion in the enforcement of immigration law. The brief describes how the power to set enforcement priorities is a longstanding and essential function of the executive branch, and demonstrates why the decision below frustrates the ability of immigration agencies to enforce the nation’s immigration laws effectively.
Case page in United States v. Texas: https://www.theusconstitution.org/litigation/united-states-v-texas/
Constitutional Accountability Center is a nonpartisan think tank and public interest law firm dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text, history, and values. Visit CAC’s website at www.theusconstitution.org.