On Monday, November 9, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s preliminary injunction (temporary block) of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans & Residents (DAPA) program and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.
The decision of the 3 judge panel was a divided decision; with 2 Judges determining that the 26 states that brought suit had standing to bring suit and that the states established a likelihood of harm if the DAPA and expanded DACA programs are permitted to go forward. Specifically, the 2 Judges upholding the injunction identified the costs to the states for the issuance of Driver’s Licenses to individuals with DAPA as the potential harm to be suffered.
With the issuance of the decision from the Fifth Circuit Court, a limited period of time remains for the Obama Administration to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Immigration advocates are hopeful that an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court will resolve the issue of the legality of the DAPA and DACA Expansion prior to the 2016 Presidential election.
While the decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is certainly a blow for potentially millions of undocumented individuals residing in the United States, it is not the final word on the DAPA and DACA programs. If the U.S. Supreme Court hears the case and overturns the lower courts’ decisions, the DAPA and expanded DACA programs should be able to go forward before President Obama leaves office in January of 2017.
For more information on the federal lawsuit and the status of DAPA and the DACA expansion, please contact Kolko & Associates, P.C.