Tuesday, February 17, 2015

DAPA Applicants Encouraged To Continue Despite Court Order

Immigrants who believe they will qualify under the Obama executive order which prioritizes removal (deportation) prospects, and grant certain immigrants a three year stay SHOULD CONTINUE preparing for the launch of the largest program around April 16th.

Melissa Crow, Legal Director for the American Immigration Council, Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Law Center, and Debbie Smith, the Associate General Counsel for the Service Employees International Union, said the Obama Administration will certainly appeal the order by Texas Judge Andrew Hanen which puts a stay, or pause on the implementation of the DAPA and expanded DACA programs.

Immigrants should not despair or be afraid.  The temporary injunction will be eventually lifted, through an appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, according to Marielena Hincapié.  

Current DACA qualified immigrants are not affected by the stay.  They may continue under their current program and may continue to renew their status.  

Melissa Crow said the judge found the state of Texas, at least, had standing to bring the suit.  Further, the state would experience financial harm in issuing driver's licenses because it would have to offer licenses to DACA and DAPA immigrants.  Crow said it was interesting the Court focused on the license issue, and over-looked evidence about the positive effects immigrants make to the economy.

Crow continued to say the court found the Obama Administration failed to comply with rule making procedure.  However, Crow said enforcement actions are generally not subject to rule making.  She says the Obama Administration  is on solid footing in issuing it's executive order.

Debbie Smith said immigrants should not panic.  She believes the suspension is temporary, will likely be lifted, and immigrants should continue preparing for the process, including gathering documents.

The temporary stay of execution of the Obama executive order is not a final decision about whether the DACA and DAPA processes should continue.  Those decisions will be made later during extended litigation.  The DAPA portion of the executive rule is not scheduled to roll out until April 16th.  By then, the temporary stay could be lifted or "stayed" pending the final resolution of the lawsuit.

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