Frontera Fund News

Supreme Court Grants Hearing on Immigration Case that May Bring Relief to 4.3 Million Immigrants

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Written by Carmen Cornejo

The Supreme Court of the United States agreed today to hear the case United States v. Texas, which has put on hold President Obama’s immigration initiatives known as DAPA and the expansion of DACA.

Both initiatives would benefit undocumented parents of citizens and legal residents, and persons who entered the country as minors but were aged out of the original DACA announcement. Potential beneficiaries will need to fulfill certain requirements. DAPA and expanded DACA would bring protection from deportation, as well as work permits to millions of immigrants who have a clean criminal record. Both initiatives are seen by advocates as important steps to keep families together.

The announcement of DAPA and extended DACA in November 2014 caused immediate opposition from 25 conservative governors, who sued the federal government to halt the initiatives.

Click here to see the video of President Obama’s announcement of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

In February 2015, a federal district court in Texas issued an order that put DAPA and expanded DACA on hold. The action was appealed by the Obama administration to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. On November 9, 2015, a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit issued a decision confirming the previous decision by the Texas federal district to temporarily block DAPA and expanded DACA.

Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments and decide in the case, which has renewed the hope of temporary relief for about 4.3 million potential beneficiaries.

The DOJ will be presenting briefs on the case due March 4, 2016, and immigrant rights organization will present documents called amicus brief to support the DOJ’s position on the issue by March 11. However, the Supreme Court could change these dates.

The presentation of oral arguments by the parties may be presented before April 2016. It is expected the Supreme Court will issue a decision in the case by the end of June 2016.

“Millions of families have waited nearly a year for these programs to take effect,” said Karen Tumlin of the National Immigration Law Center. “They will now get a full day in court as the nation’s highest court hears this case of tremendous moral and legal importance.”