The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decided on Monday evening to continue blocking President Obama's 2014 immigration executive actions—Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, known as DAPA, and an extension to 2012's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Both reliefs have been on hold since February, after a court in Texas issued a temporary injunction, while 26 states—including Arizona—continue a legal battle challenging the constitutionality of the programs.
According to The Huffington Post
, "The appeals court accepted Texas’ argument that an expansion of immigration relief to include a wider class of undocumented immigrants would cause the state to 'incur significant costs in issuing driver’s licenses to DAPA beneficiaries'—a basic 'harm' requirement for any litigant seeking standing to sue."
U.S. Circuit Judge Jerry Smith said that, if DAPA goes into effect, it would allow for half a million undocumented immigrants in Texas to "satisfy that requirement with proof of lawful presence or employment authorization. Texas subsidizes its licenses and would lose a minimum of $130.89 on each one it issued to a DAPA beneficiary. Even a modest estimate would put the loss at several million dollars," The Huffington Post reports
Immigration rights advocates were, of course, not happy with the decision.
Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress
, released this statement:
We are disappointed in today’s flawed decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which leaves millions of American families in limbo and in continuing danger of being torn apart. The court’s decision to intervene in this politically motivated case ignores strong legal and historical precedent for the actions taken by the administration last November, including a direct command by Congress that the secretary of homeland security set national immigration enforcement policies and priorities. Further delaying the implementation of these programs only harms the country by forgoing a cumulative $230 billion added to our gross domestic product over a decade, the creation of tens of thousands of jobs each year, and a significant increase in the wages of all workers. Enough slowing down sound legal action; the Supreme Court should take up this case as soon as possible so that the country can reap all of the benefits that would come from these crucial initiatives.
DAPA would grant parents of U.S. citizen or legal resident children (and who have no criminal record) a renewable three-year work permit and temporary deportation relief.
DACA II is an extension of Obama's 2012 DACA, which allows for undocumented immigrants brought here as children to apply for a two-year work permit and remain in the country. Extended DACA got rid of the age restrictions (with DACA I, the person has to be under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012 and have arrived to the U.S. before turning 16. Also, you have to be over 15 years old to apply for the 2012 DACA, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
) and extended the renewable work permission to three years.
For obvious reasons, USCIS is not accepting applications for either DAPA or DACA II. The first DACA remains untouched.