What the Injunction of DAPA and DACA Executive Action Means

What the Injunction of DAPA and DACA Executive Action Means

A Texas judge granted a preliminary injunction to 26 states who sued the Obama administration over the executive action program.  This injunction has the effect of temporarily suspending the government’s implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA.  Expanded DACA was supposed to take effect on February 18, 2015 and USCIS has now issued an announcement that they will not be able to accept expanded DACA applications on that date.

What was this lawsuit about?

Texas and 25 states sued the administration over the executive action program announced by the President on November 20, 2014.  The states argued that DAPA and expanded DACA would place new burdens on them, such as issuing driver’s licenses and that the executive action was not legal under the Immigration & Nationality Act and the constitution.

What is a preliminary injunction?

A preliminary injunction is a judicial order that restrains a person or agency from beginning or continuing an action during the pendency of a lawsuit if there will be irreparable harm to the plaintiff.  In this case, the states challenged the implementation of executive action and the judge agreed that the plaintiff states had established that they were likely to succeed in their lawsuit and that they would be irreparably harmed if the executive action went forward.  It is important t note that it is not a final resolution of the case, but an order placing the latest DACA and DAPA orders on hold while the case goes forward.

Does this apply to my DACA extension?

No.  It is important to emphasize that the District Court’s order does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012.

It only relates to DAPA and expanded DACA introduced in November 2014.

What happens after this injunction?

The U.S. government has announced that they will appeal the decision on the injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The 5th Circuit will have to decide whether to let the injunction stay in place or whether to lift the injunction while the lawsuit continues before Judge Hanen. They will also request an expedited response so the injunction can be lifted as early as next week.

So what happens if the injunction is lifted?

The DAPA and expanded DACA programs will go forward as planned.  Texas may seek an emergency ruling from the Supreme Court to stop the programs for being implemented.

What will the 5th circuit do?

Many experts believe that there are numerous legal flaws with Judge Hanen’s ruling.  Most observers believe that the 5th Circuit will lift the injunction.

When might the 5th Circuit rule?

Be assured that, despite the fact that Washington is officially closed on February 17 due to snow, government lawyers will appeal the ruling to the 5th Circuit and ask for an expedited decision.  We hope for a decision that could allow expanded DACA to go ahead this week.

What should I do?

Continue to collect documents to apply for DACA or DAPA and be ready once the injunction is lifted!


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