DAPA and Expanded DACA

DAPA and Expanded DACA… 4 – 4 tie  in the supreme court. Now what?

Last month, the United States Supreme Court in a two-sentence decision destroyed the dreams of more than 5 million immigrants.  The split decision from the Supreme Court’s on U.S v. Texas, the case against President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, allows the block on DAPA and the expansion of DACA to continue.

The lawsuit, initially filed by the Governor of Texas and signed by Florida’s State Attorney Pam Bondi as well as by other 26 states, has halted much needed protection from deportation for more than 5 million immigrant families for over a year already.

As a lawyer and as an immigrant, I am deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s 4–4 decision, which keeps DAPA and expanded DACA on hold. The decision ignores decades of legal precedent and disregards the previous uses of discretionary powers by presidents—leaving millions of American families in immigration limbo.

But what this tie really means?  The Supreme Court did not rule against DAPA and DACA expanded.  The decision just leave as it is the decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that should only be binding in the 3 states that make up the 5th judicial circuit of the United States — Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The decision does not create precedent law or does not rule in favor or against the executive powers of President Obama.

We will be pushing the Obama administration not to sit idle and simply accept the Supreme Court’s failure to rule. President Obama should file a motion for re-argument before the Supreme Court which should take place once a ninth justice is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

What does a rehearing mean? Rehearing before a fully seated Supreme Court may result in a final decision in U.S. v Texas obviating the need to send the case back to the lower courts for further hearings. The powers of the president will be tested and we will have an answer from the Supreme Court as to whether the executive can defer action for immigrants or not.

What else can be done?  This tie raises some legal questions about whether DAPA and DACA expanded should continue to be blocked nationally. We should push the states that stood in support of the executive actions and the Federal Government to challenge the national scope of the injunction blocking DAPA and DACA expanded. Remember that the Supreme Court’s inability to decide U.S. v Texas did not create a national precedent. Therefore, the question we ask: why should the injunction continue nationwide? If properly challenged in other circuit courts, perhaps the scope of the injunction could be limited. Then, New York will be able to apply DAPA and DACA expanded.

You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about immigration related issues. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with an immigration case. Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

I represent individuals in immigration cases.  If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case or potential case, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at joseperez@joseperezyourlawyer.com. The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York 13202. Now with offices in Buffalo and Rochester!!! Please look for my next article in the August edition.

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