The Impact of the US Supreme Court’s Decision on President Obama’s Expanded Deferred Action Plan
Yesterday was a sad day for roughly 4 million undocumented immigrants and their families awaiting the possibility of expanded Deferred Action for Parents of US Citizens/ Lawful Permanent Residents, and the removal of age restriction requirements for Dream Act applicants. The US Supreme Court in 4-4 split decision affirmed the lower court ruling in the case of United States v. Texas. All the US Supreme Court stated in their decision was “the judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.”
The case of US v. Texas was originally brought by a Republican led coalition from 26 states challenging the authority of the President to use his executive authority related to the announcement of the expanded executive action programs in immigration in November, 2014.
As a result of the Republican efforts, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction on February 16, 2015, preventing President Obama’s expanded immigration program from going into effect.
The case was appealed to the United States District Court of Appeals , Fifth Circuit, who affirmed the preliminary injunction, and sent the case back to the trial court level.
Through legal meandering, the case eventually made its way to the US Supreme Court. On January 19, 2016, the US Supreme Court agreed to review the case. We have now received a ruling six months later.
Essentially, with the Supreme Court not having a replacement for Antonin Scalia, and being split down the middle, the effect of their decision is to keep the preliminary injunction issued by the lower court in place for the time being. By doing so, the expanded DAPA and Dreamers programs are halted and will not go into effect. The positive side of this issue, is that those who are currently Dreamers and those beneficiaries of the initial executive action programs will not be affected by this ruling.
The Obama administration could still request a rehearing on the ruling, and there are still two other pending court cases that present the same issues as US v Texas. The current problem is there is still a Supreme Court vacancy that would need to be filled to help break the tie. It is right now unlikely the US Senate will move forward with any confirmation hearings until the presidential election has passed.
For the time being, if you want immigration reform, then you are encouraged to support those candidates running for public office to stand with the 4 million affected and find a path to give the undocumented immigrants and their families a chance at the American dream.
To discuss your immigration case, please contact us via telephone (954) 522-4058, Spanish (954) 522-1452 or via email at Rapascal@bellsouth.net.. Attorney Robert Pascal.
Law Offices of Robert A. Pascal, P.A.