Monday, January 18, 2016

Obama's Immigration Programs for Undocumented Youth, Parents Still in Limbo

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 11:15 AM

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The U.S. Supreme Court still hasn't decided whether it will take up on a lawsuit challenging President Obama's executive actions on immigration, leaving two programs that have been blocked for nearly a year—one for undocumented youth and another for parents—still on hold.

The Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court in November to hear their appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal's decision to continue blocking the programs, hoping for a decision on the lawsuit by this summer. But, even though the justices discussed the lawsuit behind closed doors, they did not issue an order for the case, according to Politico.

In November 2014, President Obama issued an extension to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—which grants undocumented youth brought here as children a three-year renewable work permit—and DAPA, which offers a similar relief for parents of U.S. citizen and legal resident children.

Two months later, Texas, and 25 other states including Arizona, filed a lawsuit claiming Obama had overstepped his constitutional authority. In February, a federal court ruled to temporarily block DACA II and DAPA, while the suit was reviewed in court. Both programs could benefit at least 4 million people, according to the Immigration Policy Institute

From Politico:
The court could take the case next week and still schedule it for argument this term under normal procedures. If the justices don't decide fairly soon after that, they might have to take some unusual steps to get the case heard and decided before they customarily wrap up decisions in late June.

If the court does decide to take up the case, Obama will have a chance to revive a key legacy item that has been in limbo for nearly a year, since a federal judge in Texas issued an order halting the immigration moves the president announced just after the 2014 midterm elections.

Should the court rule in Obama's favor, his administration will have a relatively short, seven-month window to try to roll out the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the new initiative called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans. While advocacy groups are eager to have illegal immigrants apply for the programs, there are questions about how many will do so if they're rolled out so close to the end of Obama's presidency.
Obama's 2012 DACA is not affected by the lawsuit, or the temporary injunction. However, Politico says, if the Supreme Court agrees that Obama did not have the authority to expand the immigration reliefs, "the administration would likely have to shut down the earlier program," which has granted a renewable two-year work permit and temporary permission to remain in the country to about 788,000 people.

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