Washington, D.C. (Nov. 10, 2015) — On Nov. 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced a series of executive orders that would defer deportation for approximately 4.7 million aspiring Americans living in the U.S.
The largest initiatives included an expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. The expanded DACA program extends DACA eligibility to those who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, regardless of their current age, and who have lived in U.S. continuously since January 1, 2010.
The DAPA program allows parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, provided they have lived in the U.S .continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required background checks. The implementation of both programs has been suspended until ongoing litigation is resolved.
On Monday, Nov. 9, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled 2-1 to uphold a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair Rep. Michael Honda (CA-17) issued the following statements:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“The disappointing decision by the Fifth Circuit has only delayed the inevitable need for action to protect the millions of aspiring Americans already living in the United States. Allowing immigrant families with deep roots in our communities to live in fear of deportation as they work, go to school, and contribute to our country is cruel. The path ahead now is clear. I am glad the Administration plans to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court, and I hope the Court will take up the case before the end of this term so we can get the resolution that we need. Legal scholars, mayors, law enforcement officials, religious leaders, and others agree that the President’s immigration actions are the legal and moral choice for our country.
“Of course, we could avoid this prolonged fight altogether and provide immediate relief to millions of families if Congress would act to pass the common sense reforms we know are needed. But House Republicans continue to put politics and opposition before the needs of our country. We saw the will to fix our broken immigration system when the Senate passed bipartisan immigration reform legislation in 2013. Our country needs a comprehensive solution to overcome the injustice of separating families and keeping millions in the shadows.”
Congressman Michael Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair:
“We know we have a broken immigration system that needs real, lasting reform. The decision of the Firth Circuit decision is a step backward to the goals we are striving for, especially keeping families together – which only serves to strengthen our communities. Granting a commonsense deferment to the hard-working families who have been waiting far too long for us to act is the very least we can do. In Silicon Valley, we see firsthand the tremendous contributions and impact that our immigrant families have on building a strong and vital economy.”
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.