Defferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Supreme Court on Verge of DACA/DAPA Decision
In 2014, President Obama expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Resident(s) (DAPA) program. The DACA and DAPA programs would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain work authorization if they have certain requirements. Its primary purpose is help families stop living in the constant fear of deportation, but it does not grant any other status in the U.S.
The DACA expansion would allow immigrants of any current age who entered the U.S. before the turned 16 and have been here since January 1, 2010. It would also extend the DACA renewal period from 2 years to 3 years.
The creation of the DAPA program will give undocumented parents of U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents to seek employment authorization if they have lived in the U.S. continuously since January 1, 2010 and had a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident child on or before November 20, 2014. Lastly, President’s action also expanded the qualifying relative requirement for the 601A waiver to include sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens and spouses, sons, and daughters of Legal Permanent Residents.
The most likely ways the Supreme Court could rule on this issue are:
- 4 – 4 Split: Let’s start with the negative; if the Supreme Court splits 4 – 4, the lower court decision is affirmed. Here, the lower court issued an unprecedented nationwide injunction (an order stopping the program from taking effect) and thus the programs cannot be implemented anywhere in the country. Therefore, the President’s action is left in limbo and hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants are left in fear, without relief from the country they fled to and love.
- 5 – 3 split on the merits for the Government: This would mean the Court held that the President has the constitutional authority to put forth this action and the programs would be allowed to go forward. This means that when the Department of Homeland Security is ready applications can be send and relief can be sought by the applicable undocumented immigrants.
- 5 – 3 split on procedural grounds: To me, this is the most likely outcome. Under this scenario, the court is likely to find that the states (Texas and the others bringing suit) don’t have the standing necessary to sue the federal government over this action because they have not suffered a concrete injury or harm as a result of the President’s action. This means that when the Department of Homeland Security is ready applications can be send and relief can be sought by the applicable undocumented immigrants.
If you think you qualify for any of these reliefs you should contact us for a consultation and begin gathering the necessary documents in case the Supreme Court allows the President’s action to go forward. You should gather the following documents:
1. Proof of Identity: passport; birth certificate; state or foreign ID document
2. Relationship to Qualifying Relative (DAPA/601A):
- marriage certificate; birth certificate
3. Proof of Continued Residence in U.S.:
- church records; bills; previous forms of relief (if applicable); documents from employer; family records.
Eric Suarez is an Immigration Law Clerk at The Law Office of Miguel Palmeiro.