President Obama lamented the Supreme Court's Thursday ruling on immigration as "unfortunate," "frustrating," and "heartbreaking" during a speech following the announcement of the court's 4-4 deadlock. The tied vote over Obama's executive action to suspend immigrant deportations essentially blocks the effort, which, Obama said, "sets the system back further."
"Our founders conceived this country as [a] refuge for the world. Welcoming wave after wave of immigrants kept us youthful and dynamic and entrepreneurial," Obama said. "It has shaped our character and it has made us stronger. But for more than two decades now, our immigration system, everybody acknowledges, has been broken. And the fact that the Supreme Court wasn't able to issue a decision today doesn't just set the system back further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be."
Obama called the split vote yet another reminder of "why it's so important for the Supreme Court to have a full bench," referencing the tie-breaking seat that has been vacant since Antonin Scalia died in February. "I promise you this, though: Sooner or later, immigration reform is going to get done," Obama said. "Congress will not be able to ignore America forever."