On February 16, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued an opinion and order enjoining the relevant branches of the US Government from implementing the DAPA program, including the expansion of DACA set to begin tomorrow.
This injunction does not affect the current DACA program that was announced on June 15, 2012.
This injunction was issued by a Federal District Court. The Government can, and has indicated it will, appeal the injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where it can be overturned, or if necessary, further appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Therefore, the injunction is not the final decision on whether or not this program will proceed, but is a temporary suspension.
The judge’s decision found that at least one state, Texas, of the 26 states seeking injunctive relief, has the required legal standing to seek such relief.
The judge’s decision acknowledged that the Secretary of Homeland Security’s decision on how to prioritize the resources of the Department of Homeland Security are within his authority and are constitutional, but determined that was not the issue in this case.
The judge’s decision focuses on his determination that DAPA was subject to but did not comply with procedural requirements set out in the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires substantive or legislative rules be subjected to a formal notice and comment period.
Summary & Next Steps:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has indicated in its response that it will not begin accepting applications for Expanded DACA on February 18, 2015, as originally planned.
CCD anticipates that the Government will appeal the injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and possibly request a stay of the injunction so that it may begin processing applications while the appeal is pending.
CCD advises individuals with currently pending DACA applications under the 6/15/12 Memo that their applications will not be impacted by last night’s injunction.
CCD advises individuals wishing to apply for DAPA or Expanded DACA that they should continue collecting documents and stay informed about the program. CCD will continue planned info sessions and seeing potential applicants for individual consultations at both office locations.