Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling that continues to block President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). Today, the Obama Administration announced that it will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could issue a decision by June 2016.
President Obama announced the DAPA program on November 20, 2014, almost one year ago. The program has been tied up in litigation and has never been implemented. The program is meant to provide temporary help to undocumented persons who have lived in the United States since January 1, 2010, and who, on November 20, 2014, had a son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and who meets certain other eligibility criteria. For those who are granted DAPA, they would receive an Employment Authorization Document valid for two years, and relief from the prospect of deportation unless they are convicted of crimes.
Yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, was decided by a three-judge panel. Two judges – Jerry E. Smith and Jennifer Walker Elrod – voted to continue to block DAPA, issuing a 70-page decision, while Judge Carolyn Dineen King disagreed, writing a dissent of 54 pages. Judge King concluded her dissent by writing, “I have a firm and definite conviction that a mistake has been made. That mistake has been exacerbated by the extended delay that has occurred in deciding this ‘expedited’ appeal. There is no justification for that delay.”
I will be closely monitoring the case, and will provide updates as they are available.