The United States Supreme Court tie vote on immigration has blocked President Obama’s plan that sought to shield millions living in the U.S. illegally from deportation. The 4-4 vote sets no national precedent but leaves in place the decisions by a federal judge in Brownsville and the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals until a full hearing of the case. It is a big blow to the Obama administration, which hoped to roll out the expansion of the program before the end of his presidency. Texas led 26 Republican-dominated states in challenging the program.


We’ve compiled a list of Texas leaders reaction to the Supreme Court ruling that we have received:


Governor Greg Abbott

“The action taken by the President was an unauthorized abuse of presidential power that trampled the Constitution, and the Supreme Court rightly denied the President the ability to grant amnesty contrary to immigration laws,” said Governor Abbott. “As the President himself said, he is not a king who can unilaterally change and write immigration laws. Today’s ruling is also a victory for all law-abiding Americans—including the millions of immigrants who came to America following the rule of law.”

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick

“Today’s action by the U.S. Supreme Court effectively blocking President Obama’s illegal amnesty program is a major victory for Texas and the bipartisan 26-state coalition.

 The Court’s 4-4 vote leaves in place the Fifth Circuit’s ruling that protects the separation of powers. The president has no authority to circumvent Congress and disregard the U.S. Constitution by allowing millions of illegal immigrants to continue to stay in the U.S. I will continue to lead the effort to secure the Texas border. Last session the Senate lead to increase funding to an unprecedented $800 million for border security. In Texas we are taking the right steps to protect our citizens. I thank those in Texas law enforcement who are on the front lines every day for us. Next session, border security will continue to be a top priority for me.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton

“Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: one person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law. This is a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law.”

Sen. John Cornyn

“By going around Congress to grant legal status to millions of people here illegally, the President abused the power of his office and ignored the will of the American people. The President can’t circumvent the legislative process simply because he doesn’t get what he wants, and I’m glad the Rule of Law was affirmed.”

Congressman Michael McCaul

“Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court is a victory for the constitution and our sovereignty as a nation. The 4-4 vote affirms the 5th Circuit of Appeals decision that President Obama’s executive amnesty is unconstitutional and cannot go forward. President Obama has continually attempted to go around Congress and bypass the checks and balances our government is based on in order to impose his will. This decision is a major step in reeling in the power of the executive branch. It also gives Congress an opportunity to achieve one of my top priorities as Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security – securing our border first.”


Senator Sylvia R. Garcia, Chair of the Senate Hispanic Caucus

“I am extremely disappointed the U.S. Supreme Court did not uphold President Obama’s order granting prosecutorial discretion for the undocumented parents of U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents. This decision will hurt economically, DAPA and its precursor Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been a tremendous benefit to Texas.  In Texas, undocumented youth paid $51.6 million in tuition and fees in 2013 and paid an estimated $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. In 2011, immigrants of all status contributed $65 billion in economic output to the state in terms of wages, salary, and business earnings.  But even worse, tearing families apart will continue to cast a shadow of fear over hard working immigrant workers and encourage their exploitation. Congress must take action and provide a process for these workers and students to serve their country, move up the economic ladder, and achieve their dreams.”   


Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa

“For our kids, this is about whether mom or dad will be here tomorrow. This is a human tragedy, and 4 million people’s lives hang in the balance. Congress refuses to act on immigration, the Supreme Court is tied, and Senate Republicans refuse to do their job and give Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a vote or even a hearing.  

“Tragically, this decision endangers the lives of so many. It’s time for Republicans to stop trying to score political points by tearing families apart. It’s time for Republicans to join a broad coalition of Democrats, the business community, faith leaders, and families working towards comprehensive immigration solutions.

“We all need to get to work, because America’s families depend on it. We cannot allow Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to set the tone on immigration and score cheap political points on the lives of our families. Today, Texas Democrats renew their commitment to keep fighting for a just and fair comprehensive immigration system.”


Jose P. Garza, Executive Director of the Workers Defense Project

“The Supreme Court has failed to provide a solution for people living in the shadows. The Court’s decision means that as many as five million immigrants in the U.S. remain in constant fear of being separated from their families at any time, and possibly deported. Workers Defense and our families will continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform despite this decision.”


State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, Chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus

“The Supreme Court’s ruling in US v. Texas is profoundly disappointing. In addition to opening the floodgates for blatantly ideological lawsuits against government policies, this ruling condemns millions of folks who just want to earn an education, to work, and improve the lives of their families to live under the constant threat of deportation and separation from their families.

“We will not surrender to fear, anger, misunderstanding, or hate. We will not give up the fight for common-sense immigration reform.”

State Representative Ana Hernandez, Legal Counsel for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus

“The Supreme Court’s tied decision on the President’s executive actions does nothing to secure our economy or help hardworking families wanting to contribute to American society. It simply keeps in place an unacceptable status quo anchored in uncertainty and fear. Our country deserves better.”


We will update as we receive more statements throughout the day. Join us at 7 on Capital Tonight for full coverage of both immigration and affirmative action rulings from SCOTUS today. We’ll also have in depth analysis and our guest tonight is former Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis. She’ll be discussing the upcoming decision from the high court on abortion.