Newark, NJ- Over a year after President Obama announced one of his key immigration policies, Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, or DAPA, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Texas’s request for delay, increasing the chances of the case being decided by next summer. If decided in the White House’s favor, DAPA would give a large group of qualifying immigrants the chance to apply for deportation relief sooner than anticipated.
Introduced by President Obama over a year ago, DAPA offers deportation relief to undocumented parents of American citizens and legal permanent residents who apply for the program. DAPA is similar to DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which was enacted in 2012, as it allows qualifying applicants to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation and to apply for work permits. To be eligible for DAPA, an immigrant must show that he or she has lived in the U.S. for at least five years prior to submitting their application and they must be able to pass a background check. DAPA, the Washington Post reports, would offer deportation relief to approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.
(You can read more about DACA here.)
Although President Obama introduced DAPA in November of 2014, the program has yet to accept any applications because the program has faced an ongoing legal challenge from the Attorney General of Texas in conjunction with the Attorneys General from 25 other states. They filed their first challenge to DAPA in February of this year when a federal judge granted an injunction against DAPA which has remained in place. The U.S. Supreme Court will be the final decision and could possibly lift the injunction and allow the program to begin accepting applications
In the lawsuit, the states argued that President Obama overstepped the authority of the executive branch with DAPA, and further stated they would suffer damages if the policy were allowed to take effect. A federal court judge agreed with the assertions made in the suit and approved the injunction, which has been upheld by the federal appeals court.
Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld the injunction, leaving DAPA in a state of flux and prompting the Obama Administration to ask for a U.S. Supreme Court review. Administration officials said they are hopeful that a high court victory in June would give them enough time to launch the program with President Obama still holding office, a move the Administration has pushed for according to Bloomberg News.
This week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is just a procedural decision, and doesn’t signal if the justices will side with the Obama administration but it does mean there will be a final decision about DAPA much sooner than anticipated.
It’s important to note that the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet decided if they will take up the DAPA challenge in their next session. That decision will be made in January. But it is a very important issue, so some experts believe the DAPA challenge will be one of the pivotal decisions justices will make in 2016.
I have been closely tracking the progress of the DAPA challenge and this small decision means we are closer to a final resolution. I understand how decisions like this will affect my clients and can possibly give them more avenues to obtain legal immigration status.
Immigration is a big part of my New Jersey practice and I strive to help my clients succeed. If you need help applying for DACA or a visa program, are seeking a work permit or need a deportation defense contact our office in Newark. I have a record of success and although I can’t promise you an outcome, I can assure you I will work hard to help you achieve your immigration goals.