Donald Trump has made himself the face of America's immigration debate and it could help or hurt him tremendously now that the Supreme Court has curbed President Obama's authority on the issue.
Thursday's split decision on the president's 2014 executive actions — to grant reprieve to millions of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally and expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — could energize Republicans who remain wary of Trump, but aren't ready to forfeit the Supreme Court to Hillary Clinton.
Indeed, the Supreme Court vacancy, created by the sudden passing of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in February, puts immigration and a host of other issues on the ballot. Clinton, who has previously vowed to expand the Obama administration's immigration policies, has also said she would decline to appoint any judge to the high court who does not support abortion.
"Immigration, particularly with what just happened in Britain, is a really big issue this election cycle and this decision gives Trump good reason to stay focused and on message," said veteran Republican strategist Ford O'Connell.