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US top court splits on high-stakes immigration debate

Supporters of US President Barack Obama's immigration reforms leave the US Supreme Court after arguments in United States vs Texas were heard April 18, 2016 in Washington, DCThe US Supreme Court appeared closely divided Monday as it weighed President Barack Obama’s plan to shield nearly half of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. If the eight justices deadlock in their ruling, due by late June, it will keep intact a lower court block on the plan, dealing a bruising defeat to Obama during his last year in office and pushing the issue to the next president. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, two conservatives whose support is critical in this case, sparred repeatedly with the Obama administration’s attorney during an extended 90-minute session of oral arguments.

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