WASHINGTON – It’s official. President Barack Obama’s immigration plan is dead.
The Supreme Court refused a last-ditch effort Monday to rehear the Obama administration’s plan to legalize more than 4 million who’d entered the country illegally.
In June, the justices had ruled in a 4-4 decision that they would not reconsider a federal appeals court rejection of Obama’s plan.
A different court in another region may weigh in eventually, but it’s unlikely any judge will move before the presidential election.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s split is unlikely to change anytime soon, given Senate Republicans’ refusal to consider the administration’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this year.
“It is fair to say that for the foreseeable future, it’s not going to happen,” David Leopold, an immigration advocate in Cleveland, said of the president’s plan.
While the courts have spoken for now, it’s unclear what this means for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.
More than 27 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in the 2016 election, according to the Pew Research Center. While Obama’s failure to implement his immigration plan might keep Latino voters home, some political analysts maintain Trump’s harsh talk on immigrants is more likely to spur them to go to the polls.
“It is unlikely that Latino voters will fault Obama for the Supreme Court decision,” said Sylvia Manzano, a principal at Latino Decisions, a consulting firm that measures Hispanic influence over the election. “Our polling shows Latino enthusiasm, and interest is higher now in 2016 than it was in 2012.”
Democrats overall may not be as enthusiastic. An estimated 65 percent of Democrats said they would go to the polls, compared with 77 percent in prior elections.
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