Supreme Court Will Decide Fate of the DACA and DAPA Immigration Programs

The U.S. Supreme Court will take the Obama Administration’s appeal of a lower court decision limiting his actions to restrict deportations, reports Reuters. The decision was announced on January 19. President Obama is trying to re-start efforts to shield more than four million undocumented immigrants from deportation, an executive action that was taken in 2014 to bypass the Republican-controlled Congress who refused to take action to reform immigration laws.

He started an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for youth who were undocumented immigrants as children. Under a directive from the secretary of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) these parents and youth would have been granted deferred action delaying possible deportation.

Last February, a federal district court in Texas put a halt to the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded DACA programs. The legal action was filed by the State of Texas and 25 other states with Republican governors. That decision was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The administration appealed that decision; arguments will be heard in April and the Supreme Court is expected to publish its decision in June.

In addition to DAPA and DACA, other issues will be addressed:

  • Whether the President’s actions violate a section of the U.S. Constitution requiring him to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” This could impact the larger Constitutional issues of what a President needs to do to execute the nation’s laws and the limits of a President to take executive actions which potentially amount to not executing laws and infringe on the Congress’s role of legislating.
  • The ability of a state to sue the federal government to stop executive actions. The administration takes the position that states lack legal standing to sue on this issue because the federal government sets immigration policy and that the DHS did not violate federal statutes in creating the program.

If the Court agrees with the administration, the President could implement the proposals before his term ends in January 2017. The next President would decide whether or not to keep them in place.

  • Republican Presidential candidates are against the President’s actions, while the Democratic candidates are in favor of them.
  • The immigration issue has been used by Republican presidential candidates to appeal to conservative voters concerned about illegal immigration.
  • Hispanic and Asian voters, groups with increasing political clout, may be more inclined to vote Democratic in the next Presidential election due to heated language used by some Republican candidates on the immigration issue.

If you want to learn more about the current status of DAPA, DACA and other immigration law and how it affects your situation, contact us so you can talk with the dedicated Kentucky immigration lawyers at CF Abogados today. Please give CF Abogados a call at (859) 971-0060 or fill out their online contact form to GET HELP NOW.

Attorney Kirby J. Fullerton

Mr. Fullerton’s practice is focused on immigration law. He speaks Spanish, and represents clients in cases before the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals. He began his career practicing criminal defense, and understands how matters in criminal courts can affect a client’s immigration status. [Attorney Bio]