DAPA and extended DACA


Late last month, a panel of judges for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request to grant an emergency stay of the preliminary injunction blocking the implementation of immigration relief programs created through executive action by President Obama. This decision will, of course, leave millions of American families in limbo as they wait to apply for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (known as DAPA) program and the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (known as DACA) program. This is not the end of legal proceedings on this matter, however, as an appeal of the preliminary injunction is scheduled for the week of July 6. 

While this is a setback, this is not the end of the long and arduous legal road, which many think is political. It is important to note that the Fifth Circuit Court has still not decided on the full appeal of the case to lift the injunction.

The court’s order keeps in place the hold on implementation of these initiatives while the Fifth Circuit considers the appeal of the preliminary injunction itself. The deferred action initiatives, announced last November by the President, include DAPA and an expansion of DACA and could provide as many as 4 to 5 million immigrants with a temporary relief from deportation and work permits.  The decision was 2-1 and the dissent got it right – President Obama does have the power to implement his executive order because the federal courts have long recognized that the Executive Branch has authority to set enforcement priorities, that is, to exercise prosecutorial discretion, just like all other law enforcement agencies. In fact, since at least 1956, every U.S. President has granted temporary immigration relief from deportation. The dissent emphasized the courts simply cannot be a venue for anyone who disagrees with a President’s policy choice.

Therefore, this political battle, not legal battle is far from over.  In the meantime, the underlying case is pending in the district court in Brownsville, TX before Judge Andrew Hansen. The case is still in the early stages of discovery.

A similar suit challenging the President’s actions filed by Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio was dismissed by a Washington, D.C., federal court at the end of last year. It is currently on appeal before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

You should keep in mind that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to
provide guidance about the current battle of immigration relief. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in a case involving an immigrant or a family of immigrants.  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, 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. We also have an office in Buffalo, New York.  Please look for my next article in the July edition. 

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