On June 23, 2016, the U.S Supreme Court issued a 4-4 split decision upholding the injunction against implementation of President Obama's actions to provide safe haven and work authorization to thousands under the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents ("DAPA") program and to extend eligibility for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") to additional thousands who are currently without any form of legal status. It is important to note that although the President's expanded DACA program will not be expanded at this time, the Supreme Court's decision does not affect anyone who is currently enrolled in DACA. Individuals who meet the 2012 DACA guidelines may continue to come forward and file an initial or renewal request for DACA under those guidelines. For more information, visit the USCIS DACA website.
On June 23, 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in the closely-watched case of U.S. v. Texas. The Court's opinion totaled only nine words: "The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court." The court's 4-4 ruling demonstrates the significance of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the Senate's inaction on confirming Merrick Garland, President Obama's nomination to Supreme Court.
U.S. v. Texas was the culmination of an injunction granted to the State of Texas (joined by seventeen other states in their lawsuit) over President Obama's proposed Executive Actions on Immigration, originally announced in November 2014. The President's Actions included the expansion of the existing program for Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") and the addition of a new program for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans ("DAPA"). These programs sought to assist individuals brought to the U.S. as children who are without status in the U.S. and the parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are without status. Under both programs, the eligible individuals would be permitted to remain in the U.S. and work without fear of deportation.
On February 16, 2015, a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction to prevent implementation of these two programs (expanded DACA and DAPA), a decision the Obama administration appealed. On November 9, 2015, in a 2 - 1 decision, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed the District Court's decision, halting President Obama's expanded DACA and DAPA programs. The Obama administration appealed and in April 2016 argued its case before the U.S. Supreme Court. With its divided decision last month, the Supreme Court's decision leaves the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in place, effectively blocking the President's Executive Actions for now. U.S. v. Texas, like other equally divided Supreme Court decisions, does not set precedent and thus is not a binding decision on any future cases concerning Executive Authority or immigration. A full copy of the Supreme Court's opinion, along with briefs filed with the Court, can be found on the court's website.
The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016 impacts one of the most high-profile cases before the Court this year: whether President Obama's Executive Actions on Immigration overstepped the bounds of his authority. In November 2014, President Obama announced a bold series of Executive Actions, including expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") and a newly created Deferred Action for Parents of Americans ("DAPA"). His executive actions sought to expand the existing DACA program to include more individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children and who presently do not have status in the U.S., and to 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.
Shortly after President Obama announced his Executive Actions, seventeen states (with Texas as lead plaintiff) filed lawsuits claiming the President's proposed actions exceeded his authority. On February 16, 2015, a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction to prevent implementation of these two programs (expanded DACA and DAPA), a decision the Obama administration appealed. On November 9, 2015, in a 2 - 1 decision, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed the District Court's decision, halting President Obama's expanded DACA and DAPA programs. On January 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review in the case, known as United States v. Texas, with formal hearings set for April of this year.
With eight justices presently serving on the Supreme Court, a 4-4 tie in the case is possible. A tie among the justices in United States v. Texas would preserve the lower court's decision, effectively placing a permanent injunction on the program. However, most legal experts agree there is clear precedence that permits a President to take executive actions related to immigration. Accordingly, immigration advocates are calling on the Supreme Court to continue hearing the case this April. We will continue to bring you news related to the hearings on United States v. Texas and any other DACA and DAPA related news on our website at www.iandoli.com/newsandupdates
The U.S. Supreme Court announced on January 19, 2016 it will hear arguments related to Texas v. U.S., the lawsuit challenging President Obama's executive action on immigration. On November 20, 2014 President Obama announced a number of actions and priorities, including expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") and the creation of a new program called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents ("DAPA") that would allow parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, provided they have lived in the U.S. continuously since January 1, 2010 and pass required background checks.
Seventeen states (with Texas as lead plaintiff) filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration in December 2014 alleging the President's proposed executive actions, including the expansion of DACA and the creation of DAPA, exceed his authority. The case has moved through the federal district court to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and now is headed to the Supreme Court. Stay tuned for updates from Iandoli Desai & Cronin P.C. in the coming months on this page: www.iandoli.com/newsandupdates.