By Joseph G. Cella, Esq.
On Monday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction against implementation of DAPA and Expanded DACA, ruling that the Obama administration had overstepped its legal authority with the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, which would have let about 4 million undocumented immigrants stay in the country with employment authorization. Announced last November, the program would have deferred the deportation for parents of permanent residents and U.S. citizens. However, although the Justice Department said Tuesday that it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, the case will likely not be heard until near the end of the Obama presidency.
In 2012 President Obama launched Deferred Action for Childhood Approvals, (DACA), affording 1.2 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, the opportunity to study and work legally in the United States. Then, in December 2014, President Obama followed DACA with another executive order known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, (DAPA), which would have also covered those young immigrants’ parents, and expanded DACA to include more undocumented immigrants.
In response DAPA, Texas and 25 other states sued to halt the programs, and in February, 2014, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, from Brownsville, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction preventing the administration from starting the programs. The Obama Administration appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals, which today denied the appeal, leaving the injunction in place.
Presently, although this decision does not effect DACA and it’s beneficiaries, DAPA and expanded DACA remain stayed until such time as the U.S. Supreme Court rules otherwise.