Immigration and Citizenship

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: 


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


More from Immigration and Citizenship

Immigration and Citizenship
June 3, 2024

Improper DHS Appointment Voids Asylum Rule, Groups Argue

Law360 (June 3, 2024, 8:43 PM EDT) -- Two immigrant advocacy groups suing the federal...
By: Brian R. Frazelle, Ali Sullivan
Immigration and Citizenship
June 23, 2023

RELEASE: Supreme Court Decision Allows Administration to Prioritize Certain Noncitizens for Immigration Enforcement, as Presidential Administrations Have Done for Decades

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the Supreme Court’s announcement of its decision this morning in United...
By: Smita Ghosh
Immigration and Citizenship
January 17, 2023

RELEASE: Supreme Court Considers Access to Courts for Asylum-Seekers

WASHINGTON, DC – Following oral argument at the Supreme Court this morning in Santos-Zacaria v....
By: Smita Ghosh
Immigration and Citizenship
September 19, 2022

RELEASE: Biden Administration Memo Setting Priorities for Immigration Enforcement Is Lawful, Group of Former DHS and INS Officials Tell Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier today, the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) filed a brief in the...
By: Smita Ghosh
Immigration and Citizenship
U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Texas

In United States v. Texas, the Supreme Court considered whether Department of Homeland Security guidance on immigration enforcement priorities is lawful.
Immigration and Citizenship
June 30, 2022

RELEASE: Win for Migrants at Southwest Border and Presidential Authority in Immigration  

WASHINGTON, DC – Following today’s ruling from the Supreme Court in Biden v. Texas—in which...
By: Elizabeth B. Wydra