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United States v. Texas: The Case for DAPA and Expanded DACA

United States v. Texas: The Case for DAPA and Expanded DACA

scotus deferred actionUpdated: 6/24/16

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 4-4 split decision on June 23, 2016, effectively blocked President Obama’s executive actions on immigration that expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and created Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).

There’s still reason for undocumented immigrants to remain optimistic. Immigration advocates and organizations are pushing hard for legislative change that will provide relief to undocumented immigrants already in the United States and positively contributing to the U.S. economy.

If Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President, is elected, she could attempt to revive the deferred action programs or work with the new Congress on comprehensive immigration reform. A Clinton win will also most likely result in a pro-immigration choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Scalia’s death. Any legal challenges to executive action under her administration would come to a court that would have a majority of Democratic-appointed justices and, most likely, give undocumented immigrants a friendlier reception.

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United States v. Texas (DAPA and Expanded DACA) Case Timeline

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced executive actions that would expand the existing DACA program and create a new program to allow parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to remain in the U.S. and work without fear of deportation. The executive actions were challenged in the courts by several states.

On February 16, 2015, a federal judge in Texas blocked these two programs (expanded DACA and DAPA). The injunction meant that the two programs could not be implemented.

On November 9, 2015, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans reaffirmed the decision. The 2-1 ruling meant that President Obama’s expanded DACA and DAPA programs could not be implemented. The Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court to take the case.

On January 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to grant cert in the case of United States v. Texas. This means that they will take the case, and a final decision could be made in June 2016.

On April 18, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of United States v. Texas. A decision will determine whether they will unfreeze the DAPA and expanded DACA programs. Learn more about the latest in Fight for Families Enters Supreme Showdown.

On June 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court reached a 4-4 split decision that leaves in place the lower court’s decision. This “tie” effectively kills the executive action for at least the remainder the Obama presidency. DAPA and DACA+ will not be implemented.

What you need to know about DAPA and DACA

  • The court’s injunction does not affect the original DACA program. If you have been granted DACA, it is still in effect. If you are eligible for DACA but never applied, you may apply. If you need to renew DACA, you may still renew it.
  • The court decision has stopped the implementation of the expanded DACA program.
  • The court decision has stopped the implementation of the new DAPA program.

Are you in danger of deportation?

President Obama’s new enforcement policy as announced in November 2014, is still in effect. The court’s actions do not affect how the government enforces immigration policy or if the government should or shouldn’t deport certain immigrants.

Undocumented persons who would have been eligible for one of the two deferred action programs (DACA and DAPA) can also reasonably expect to be sheltered by the friendly enforcement policy. The enforcement policy prioritizes the deportation of criminals. In other words, immigrants eligible for deferred action will most likely not be deported.

In fact, President Obama’s executive action on immigration enforcement policy protects about 10 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

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