Donald Trump reacted to the Supreme Court's tie vote on immigration on Monday exactly as you'd predict he would: by trying to stir up racial animosity. This time, he worked to pit black and Latino voters against undocumented immigrants.
On Thursday, the Court failed to rule on a case against President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, which would have protected 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to find legal work in the United States. The 4-4 tie meant that a lower court's blocking of the program will stay in place for now.
The president was disappointed by the outcome. "Today’s decision is frustrating to those who seek to grow our economy and bring a rationality to our immigration system,” he said, adding, “It is heartbreaking for the millions of immigrants who have made their lives here.”
Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, tweeted her disgust with the decision.
Clinton will likely use the prospect of passing legislation to protect undocumented immigrants to bolster support from Latino voters.
Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, is apparently trying to speak to the same demographic in a slightly different way—by attempting to tell black and Latino people that undocumented immigrants were hurting them.
In a statement responding to the decision, Trump said that "the election, and the Supreme Court appointments that come with it, will decide whether or not we have a border and, hence, a country. He continued, "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." (Emphasis added.)
Trump is wrong—undocumented immigrants don't steal American jobs, and Latino voters overwhelmingly care about immigration reform. Plus, most Americans support immigration reform that would offer undocumented immigrants a clear path to citizenship. Specifically, 61% would support the type of program DAPA suggests. Nice try though, Trump.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.