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Immigration Law

Expert: Supreme Court DACA Decision May Rest on C.J. Roberts as Swing Vote

Lomi Kriel, Houston Chronicle, Nov. 11, 2019

"The case, one of the most important of the justices’ term, will help define the scope of presidential powers over immigration. It also is seen as a test of Chief Justice John Roberts, who has lamented the politicization of the court and appeared reluctant to take on the DACA case, waiting until the last moment to do so. ... A majority of justices have consistently agreed that Trump has expansive latitude on immigration, green-lighting his travel ban preventing citizens of several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States and declining to halt a policy ending asylum at the southern border. But in a 5-4 majority opinion, Roberts recently blocked the administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census — seen by some as an attempt to suppress the participation of immigrant-heavy communities — by arguing that it had done so improperly, which is also at issue in the government’s termination of DACA. ... Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law professor at Cornell University Law School, said he predicted a 5-4 decision with Roberts as the swing vote.
“The Supreme Court has traditionally given the president wide latitude on immigration policy decisions,” he said. “But they could try to avoid the thorny constitutional issues by ruling on narrower statutory grounds” such as what occurred in the census case."