Deadlocked Supreme Court deals big blow to Obama immigration plan

Updated 6:54 PM EDT, Thu June 23, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: Families react to news on a Supreme Court decision blocking Obama's immigration plan, which would have protected millions of immigrants from deportation, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, on June 23, 2016 in Washington, DC.  The court was divided 4-4, leaving in place an appeals court ruling blocking the plan. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
Allison Shelley/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: Families react to news on a Supreme Court decision blocking Obama's immigration plan, which would have protected millions of immigrants from deportation, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, on June 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. The court was divided 4-4, leaving in place an appeals court ruling blocking the plan. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:30
Supreme Court deals blow to Obama on immigration
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on December 07, 2017 in London, England. Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Lightcoin have seen unprecedented growth in 2017, despite remaining extremely volatile. While digital currencies across the board have divided opinion between financial institutions, and now have a market cap of around 175 Billion USD, the crypto sector coninues to grow, as it continues to see wider mainstreem adoption. The price of one Bitcoin passed 15,000 USD across many exchanges today taking it higher than previous all time highs.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on December 07, 2017 in London, England. Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Lightcoin have seen unprecedented growth in 2017, despite remaining extremely volatile. While digital currencies across the board have divided opinion between financial institutions, and now have a market cap of around 175 Billion USD, the crypto sector coninues to grow, as it continues to see wider mainstreem adoption. The price of one Bitcoin passed 15,000 USD across many exchanges today taking it higher than previous all time highs. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:07
Bitcoin has an energy problem
Now playing
05:18
Anderson Cooper explains how he overcomes being shy
Now playing
01:32
Scientists turned spiderwebs into music and it sounds like a nightmare
Kristina Barboza
Now playing
03:09
Grieving mom's advice to other families: You can try to help, support and love
Jeopardy Productions, Inc.
Now playing
01:02
Aaron Rodgers' Green Bay Packers question stumps 'Jeopardy!' contestants
Now playing
02:35
WWII veteran: End of the war was 'the biggest thrill of my life'
Now playing
05:18
Coinbase CFO: We're an on-ramp to the crypto economy
CNN
Now playing
02:12
'Too dangerous to do anymore': Sacha Baron Cohen on Borat
Christopher Hamilton
Now playing
01:01
Volcanologist shares what he prefers to cook on lava flows
John Avlon 0413 Wallace
CNN
John Avlon 0413 Wallace
Now playing
03:31
Avlon compares Tucker Carlson's comments to George Wallace
screengrab hong kong oscars
IMDB / Field of Vision
screengrab hong kong oscars
Now playing
02:50
Hong Kong won't air Oscars for the first time since 1968
Now playing
01:27
See the first community of 3D-printed homes
Burlington, MA Headquarters
Nuance
Burlington, MA Headquarters
Now playing
01:34
Microsoft to buy AI company Nuance
Now playing
02:50
Sleep doctor tells Anderson Cooper how long a power nap should be
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01: Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell testifies during a Senate Banking Committee hearing about the quarterly CARES Act report on Capitol Hill December 1, 2020 in Washington, DC.  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also testified at the hearing. (Photo by Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)
Susan Walsh/Pool/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01: Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell testifies during a Senate Banking Committee hearing about the quarterly CARES Act report on Capitol Hill December 1, 2020 in Washington, DC. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also testified at the hearing. (Photo by Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:06
Fed chief: The economy is about to grow more quickly

Story highlights

Supreme Court keeps executive actions on immigration blocked

White House sought to sidestep Congress, which has declined to take up comprehensive immigration reform

(CNN) —  

In a crushing blow to the White House, the Supreme Court announced Thursday it was evenly divided in a case concerning President Barack Obama’s controversial executive actions on immigration.

The one-sentence ruling, issued without comment or dissent, means that the programs will remain blocked from going into effect, and the issue will return to the lower court. It is exceedingly unlikely the programs will go into effect for the remainder of the Obama presidency.

Obama, speaking at the White House, lamented the ruling.

“For more than two decades now our immigration system, everybody acknowledges, has been broken,” Obama said. “And the fact that the Supreme Court wasn’t able to issue a decision today doesn’t just set the system back even further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be.”

The ruling will impact the more than 4 million undocumented immigrants seeking to be able to come out of the shadows and apply for these programs to stay in the United States. Immediately after Obama announced them in late 2014, Texas and 25 other states challenged the plans and they were blocked nationwide by a federal district court the next year.

Immigration has already been a prominent and highly charged topic of the 2016 election already this year, and this ruling guarantees it will only be more so.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton criticized the ruling, saying it is evidence not only of why the Supreme Court needs a ninth justice, but also that the delay of Obama’s immigration programs adds importance to putting a Democrat in the White House to continue the fight to put them in place.

“Today’s deadlocked decision from the Supreme Court is unacceptable, and show us all just how high the stakes are in this election,” Clinton said in a statement Thursday morning. She later tweeted, calling it “heartbreaking.”

Trump tweeted that the court “kept us safe” from amnesty and in a statement said the issue is key in November’s election.

“The election, and the Supreme Court appointments that come with it will decide whether or not we have a border and, hence, a country. Clinton has pledged to expand Obama’s executive amnesty, hurting poor African-American and Hispanic workers by giving away their jobs and federal resources to illegal immigrant labor – while making us all less safe,” he said.

The topic of undocumented immigrants has been a central theme this campaign. While Democrats have pushed for immigration reform and leniency to some people living in the country illegally, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has spoken forcefully about deporting the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and disparaged Mexican immigrants during his campaign.