DACA and DAPA Delayed by Court Decision

The expanded rules for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) have been temporarily delayed by a federal court’s injunction on February 16, 2015.

The injunction was filed by Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Brownsville, Texas Federal District Court and has effectively stalled the new DACA and DAPA rules for now.

The Obama administration and Department of Homeland Security have said that they will appeal this ruling, but in the meantime the only thing that they may be able to do is ask for an emergency motion of stay which will allow for people to apply for the new programs, a panel of experts from the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and United We Dream said on February 17.

The judge’s reasoning for halting the programs included:

  • The perceived undue burden of new driver’s license applicants in Texas (The cost of issuing driver’s licenses in Texas is much higher than the fees collected for the licenses), and
  • The purported violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), where the federal government must go through certain steps before instituting certain regulations.

Immigration advocates have unanimously argued that there is no basis for the executive orders violating the APA and that it is only a matter of time before people will be able to apply under the new DACA rules and the related DAPA program.

Republicans, who are strongly opposed to these immigration programs are leveraging all they can in order to stop any immigration reform.

It is also expected that Republicans will delay the passage of a budget to further confound the implementation of DACA and DAPA, a move highly criticised by Congressional Democrats.

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