Justice Department Files Appeal to Federal Judge's Temporary Block of Obama's Immigration Actions

Today, the Department of Justice filed an appeal and a request for a stay of a Texas federal judge's preliminary injunction from last week that blocked President Obama's Nov. 20 immigration actions. 

If granted, both would allow for two relief programs—one for parents of U.S. citizen and legal resident children and the other an extension to 2012's DACA—to proceed even though a lawsuit brought forward by 26 states, including Arizona, to kill the orders for good remains in court. 

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services planned to start accepting applications for the extended DACA—a renewable three-year work permit and deferred deportation that no longer has age limits to apply, meaning certain undocumented immigrants younger than 15 and older than 31 can also sign up. Shortly after Hanen's ruling, the agency said it will not accept anything until the block ends.

Applications for DAPA, which has similar guidelines and benefits as DACA, aren't scheduled to go through until some time in May. 

Republicans are also trying to stop the programs with a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. Senate Democrats have continuously blocked it, but Congress has until the end of this week to make a decision because DHS runs out of money Feb. 27. 

While this sorts out, Tucson immigration rights advocates have urged people who may qualify for both DACAs (the first version IS NOT affected by Hanen's block) and DAPA to continue gathering documents and inform themselves on the requirements even if their applications aren't accepted yet.