Supreme Court tie destroys Obama’s plans to protect millions of immigrants; DACA and DAPA blocked

The U.S. Supreme Court split 4-4 Thursday over a challenge to President Barack Obama's immigration policy, a result that prevents the administration from putting the program into effect during the rest of his term. The split was reflected in a one-sentence statement from the court: "The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court."

President Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which since 2012 had allowed immigrants who'd come to the US as children to apply for temporary protection from deportation and work permits and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program, which would grant a reprieve to parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

The president on Thursday stressed that people who have been in the country for a long time and are otherwise law abiding will remain lower deportation priorities. He added that the tie was "heartbreaking" for millions of immigrants. However, the tie "takes us further from the country we aspire to be," Obama added.

That process will play out for at least another year, and the next president would decide whether to continue defending it in court.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has vowed to expand the program, but her GOP rival Donald Trump has said he would abandon it.

The court's temporary injunction does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request an initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA under the guidelines established in 2012.

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