By Mark Sherman
Jun 23, 2016 – 10:50 AM EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — A tie vote by the Supreme Court is blocking President Barack Obama’s immigration plan that sought to shield millions living in the U.S. illegally from deportation.
The justices’ one-sentence opinion on Thursday effectively kills the plan for the duration of Obama’s presidency.
A tie vote sets no national precedent but leaves in place the ruling by the lower court. In this case, the federal appeals court in New Orleans said the Obama administration lacked the authority to shield up to 4 million immigrants from deportation and make them eligible for work permits without approval from Congress.
Texas led 26 Republican-dominated states in challenging the program Obama announced in November 2014. Congressional Republicans also backed the states’ lawsuit.
The Obama administration announced the programs – protections for parents of children who are in the country legally and an expansion of the program that benefits people who were brought to this country as children – in November 2014. Obama decided to move forward after Republicans won control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections, and the chances for an immigration overhaul, already remote, were further diminished.
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