Supreme Court to hear and review the expanded DACA and DAPA case

ON 1/19/2016, the US Supreme Court granted the writ of certiorari filed by the Obama Administration in the case United States, et al. v Texas. This means that the Supreme Court, in its discretion, has decided to review this particular case. (The Supreme Court does not have to hear a case unless the case is under its original jurisdiction.)

This action of the Supreme Court is of great significance because it involves President Obama’s 2014 deferred actions for certain aliens popularly referred as the expanded Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). Under the programs, the government will defer the deportation of certain undocumented aliens who arrived in the US as children and certain undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, respectively. These aliens will also be eligible to apply for work permits. (The original, existing DACA program is still being implemented and is not a subject of this case.)

Additionally, the Supreme Court, in granting the writ of certiorari, directed the Obama Administration to respond whether or not said executive action violates the “Take Care Clause of the Constitution, Art. II, §3”. This particular clause directs the President of the US to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed”. Opponents of this deferred actions asserts that the President violated the existing laws by trying to implement the executive actions.

One will recall that the State of Texas filed a case in the US District Court in Texas opposing the Expanded DACA and DAPA. The judge in that case issued a preliminary injunction against the executive actions last February 2015. As a result, the USCIS announced that “(d)ue to a federal court order, USCIS will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA on February 18 (2015) as originally planned.”  As of now, the DAPA is also not being implemented by the USCIS. Almost 5 million potential beneficiaries of the expanded DACA and DAPA are unable to file their application and obtain work permits because of the injunction. The Obama Administration appealed the issuance of the preliminary injunction with the District Court and later, with the Court of Appeals but on both instances, was denied.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling on the matter by end of June, 2016, which will be greatly anticipated by potential beneficiaries and other stakeholders. Hopefully, the court will find that these executive actions are a valid exercise of executive authority.

If you are contemplating of filing any immigrant or non-immigration application, it is advisable to seek the counsel of an immigration lawyer to guide you on the intricacies of filing for such a petition.

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Atty. Gwendolyn Malaya-Santos is a member of the State Bar of California and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. To schedule for a free initial in-person consultation, please call Tel. Nos. (213) 284-5984 or (626) 329-8215. Atty. Santos’ office is located at 3450 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1200-105, Los Angeles, CA 90010. 

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Information contained in this article does not, nor is it intended to, constitutes legal advice for any specific situation and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. It likewise does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 

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