California Reacts to SCOTUS Immigration Ruling

Immigration activists from Los Angeles to San Francisco and Sonoma County held demonstrations Thursday to protest a U.S. Supreme Court decision that blocked President Obama’s controversial executive actions on immigration. Thursday’s decision was a 4-4 tie, so it was issued without comment or dissent. The one-sentence ruling upholds a lower-court decision which said that the president’s deferred action program constituted executive overreach.

Obama’s 2014 executive action would have deferred deportation and provided work permits for up to 5 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Its failure deals a major blow to California’s large population of undocumented workers and the immigration rights organizations which advocate on their behalf.

In addition, Thursday’s ruling impedes California legislators’ efforts to provide health coverage to undocumented persons. As a result of the SCOTUS decision, numerous immigrants who would have been eligible for the state’s low-income Medi-Cal coverage will now have to find alternative options or receive no coverage at all.

Lawmakers from across the state also offered their opinions on the ruling Thursday. Gov. Jerry Brown weighed in as well, saying it would leave millions of people to face “a troubled and uncertain future.”

The 4-4 tie came as a result of the court vacancy created by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. President Obama has appointed Judge Merrick Garland to replace him, but Senate Republicans have refused to act on the nomination until after the November 2016 election. 

Read more about the reactions to the SCOTUS decision here.

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