President Barack Obama has responded to the blocking of his immigration plan by the U.S. Supreme Court (video below).
"One of the reasons why America is such a diverse and inclusive nation is because we’re a nation of immigrants," Obama said June 23 at the White House after the ruling was announced. "Our founders conceived of this country as a refuge for the world, and for more than two centuries welcoming wave after wave of immigrants has kept us youthful, dynamic and entrepreneurial. It has shaped our character and it has made us stronger.
"But for more than two decades now our immigration system — everybody acknowledges — has been broken. And the fact that the Supreme Court wasn’t able to issue a decision today doesn’t just set the system back even further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be."
Obama’s immigration plan would have stopped millions of illegal immigrants from being deported, according to Reuters.
The Supreme Court blocked his plan in a 4-4 ruling.
The decision upholds a never implemented 2015 lower-court ruling that blocked Obama's executive action on immigration.
Obama’s immigration plan was initially unveiled in November 2014. Texas, a Republican-led state, and 25 other states challenged it in court by saying Obama was exceeding his presidential powers by taking the executive action and circumventing Congress.
Obama said he found the Supreme Court’s decision to be frustrating for those who want to make the immigration system rational and allow the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country to "come out of the shadows."
"In the end, it is my firm belief that immigration is not something to fear," Obama said in a White House press release. "We don't have to wall ourselves off from those who may not look like us right now, or pray like we do, or have a different last name, because being an American is something more than that. What makes us American is our shared commitment to an ideal that all of us are created equal."
The Obama Administration can ask the Supreme Court to rehear the case because of the 4-4 split.
Some Republicans who are against his immigration plan see the court’s decision as being final.
“[The ruling] makes the president’s executive action on immigration null and void,” Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement, adding that the decision is a “major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers.”