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Wednesday, June 17, 2015
CHN: Immigration Programs Remain Blocked, For Now
On May 26, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Department of Justice’s request for an emergency stay of a lower court’s decision temporarily blocking two of the biggest initiatives under President Obama’s executive action on immigration. The circuit court’s decision will keep the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program from being implemented for the time being. It doesn’t mean, however, that these programs are dead in the water; the Fifth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the Justice Department’s formal appeal of the district court’s decision the week of July 6. A Texas federal district court judge issued the ruling blocking the implementation of these programs in February while a lawsuit challenging the president’s November executive action made its way through the courts.
Advocates were disappointed with the circuit court’s ruling but believe that expanded DACA and DAPA will ultimately be implemented. The National Immigration Law Center and other advocates have been working hard to remind immigrants that the ruling does not impact the “Dreamer” children who were granted relief from deportation under the 2012 DACA program. The Texas court’s ruling also doesn’t impact the executive action’s direction to immigration agents to focus deportation efforts on felons, not families. The expanded DACA and DAPA initiatives, if allowed to go forward, would mean millions of undocumented immigrants would no longer have to worry about being deported and would be able to come out of the shadows, work legally, get better jobs, pay taxes and stop living in fear.