For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Status of Undocumented Immigrants Remains Unclear After Justice Scalia's Death, Professor Anil Kalhan Tells PRI

Professor Anil Kalhan

February 17, 2016

The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia could deal a setback to undocumented immigrants covered under the DACA and DAPA programs implemented by the Obama Administration, Professor Anil Kalhan said during an interview with Public Radio International on Feb. 17.

With the Supreme Court poised to rule on a challenge to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, the policies may have fared better if the conservative Scalia was still on the bench, Kalhan said.

Scalia’s interpretation of Article Three of the Constitution may have led him to question a claim made by the state of Texas that the cost of issuing driver's licenses for recipients of deferred action represented an actual injury to justify the case against Obama’s executive actions, Kalhan said.

“Justice Scalia was more stringent about standing than his other conservative colleagues,” Kalhan explained, noting that while the justice may have questioned the constitutionality of Obama’s actions, he may also have doubted whether Texas suffered an actual injury and thus had standing in the matter.

“Sometimes his principles got in the way of his politics,” said Kalhan, an authority on immigration law.