A protester holds her sign up as immigrants and community leaders rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to mark the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration in Washington, November 20, 2015.

A protester holds her sign up as immigrants and community leaders rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to mark the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration in Washington, November 20, 2015. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Obama: Supreme Court's Immigration Decision Sets the System Back

White House Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed disappointment about the Supreme Court's decision on immigration that blocked his plan to spare millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

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"For more than two decades now, our immigration system ... has been broken, and the fact that the Supreme Court was not 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," he said. (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Writing by Alana Wise)

Below is an earlier reporter version from Reuters:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dealt President Barack Obama a harsh defeat, splitting 4-4 over his plan to spare millions of immigrants in the country illegally from deportation and give them work permits, leaving intact a lower-court ruling blocking the plan.

The court, with four conservative justices and four liberals, appeared divided along ideological lines during oral arguments on April 18 in a case brought by 26 states led by Texas that sued to block Obama's 2014 executive action on immigration that bypassed Congress.

The 4-4 ruling was possible because there are only eight justices following February's death of conservative Antonin Scalia. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

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