ENGLISH DAPA, DACA in limbo af­ter Supreme Court in­de­ci­sion

La Semana - - FRONT PAGE / PORTADA -

WASH­ING­TON, DC — Hav­ing reached an im­passe, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 4-4 in one of the most con­se­quen­tial im­mi­gra­tion cases in re­cent his­tory, United States v. Texas. The High Court’s fail­ure to fall one way or another in the case leaves in place a lower court de­ci­sion that blocks the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­ferred ac­tion im­mi­gra­tion ini­tia­tives known as DAPA and the ex­pan­sion of DACA from be­ing im­ple­mented.


Marie­lena Hin­capie, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Na­tional Im­mi­gra­tion Law Cen­ter, is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“The stakes could not have been higher: Mil­lions have watched, and waited, for the Supreme Court to af­firm the pres­i­dent’s au­thor­ity to in­ject some com­mon sense into our im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem. To­day, the eight jus­tices failed to act, and count­less fam­i­lies will suf­fer as a con­se­quence.”

“With this case, the Court had an op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide clar­ity and guid­ance on ex­ec­u­tive power and to free up pro­grams that would have tremen­dous so­cial and eco­nomic ben­e­fits,” Hin­capie con­tin­ued. “In­stead, they fol­lowed a trou­bling trend this term of fail­ing to do the job the Amer­i­can peo­ple and the Con­sti­tu­tion en­trusted to them, due in part to the politi­cized va­cancy on the Court.”

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced DAPA and the ex­pan­sion of DACA in Novem­ber 2014. The two ini­tia­tives would al­low cer­tain im­mi­grant par­ents of U.S. cit­i­zens and law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dents, as well as other im­mi­grants who came to the U.S. as chil­dren, to ap­ply for tem­po­rary work au­tho­riza­tion and pro­tec­tion from de­por­ta­tion.

Texas and 25 other states – in­clud­ing Ok­la­homa and Arkansas – sued the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to block the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ini­tia­tives in De­cem­ber 2014. In Fe­bru­ary 2015, a fed­eral dis­trict court judge in Texas ruled in Texas’s fa­vor and blocked both DAPA and the ex­pan­sion of DACA. In a de­ci­sion is­sued in Novem­ber 2015, a di­vided panel of the Fifth Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals up­held the dis­trict court’s or­der.

Last week’s de­ci­sion by a dead­locked High Court means the Fifth Cir­cuit’s na­tion­wide in­junc­tion of the pro­grams re­mains in place by de­fault and that the case will be sent back to the lower courts for con­sid­er­a­tion—a prospect that wor­ries many im­mi­grants, given a re­cent ex­treme or­der by the fed­eral dis­trict court in this case.

“The stakes are now even greater for the Novem­ber elec­tions as the next pres­i­dent will have the op­por­tu­nity to ap­point sev­eral Supreme Court jus­tices in their first term, shap­ing our coun­try’s fu­ture for decades to come,” Hin­capie noted. “Im­mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties are com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing our fight for our fam­i­lies.”

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