Existing DACA Program Not Impacted; Preliminary Injunction on Expanded DACA and DAPA Programs Only Temporary
LOS ANGELES (Feb. 19, 2015) — On February 16, 2015, Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a G.W. Bush-appointed district court judge in Brownsville, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the implementation process of the new immigrant deferred action programs, which include an expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and a Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program.
While the ruling delays the start date for millions of immigrants to come forward and apply for deportation relief and work permits, it is important to note that the Texas court’s decision is only temporary and is likely to be overturned by a higher court. Meanwhile, the court ruling does not impact the existing DACA program, which continues to operate with over 600,000 individuals already granted DACA and many more eligible who can apply immediately.
“DACA and DAPA are victories that immigrant communities won. In California, we are moving forward regardless of today’s ruling, and will continue getting ready for the deferred action programs that will give millions of immigrants the chance to come out of the shadows and have an opportunity for a better life,” said Stewart Kwoh, President and Executive Director, Advancing Justice-LA. “We have confidence in the legal grounds for the programs and are disappointed that this lawsuit wastes precious resources that could be better used for outreaching to and educating eligible immigrants, particularly in the Asian American community where fear and misunderstandings about the programs run deep. We commend the Obama Administration for planning to file an appeal and urge an emergency stay of this misguided ruling. We are confident that a higher court will overturn this temporary decision and affirm President Obama’s legal authority to implement the expanded DACA and DAPA programs.”
Over a hundred lawyers and legal scholars have affirmed the President’s legal authority to create relief for the millions of undocumented people who would be protected under the expanded DACA and new DAPA programs. “Do not be discouraged or afraid to apply,” said Anthony Ng, Immigrant Rights Advocate at Advancing Justice-LA. “We believe that it is a matter of when, not if, these programs will accept applications. The law is on the side of the immigrants who fought hard for these programs as well as those who have been awaiting the opportunity to submit their applications.”
Advancing Justice-LA’s Immigration Project Director, Aman Thind states, “Advancing Justice-LA urges undocumented immigrants to continue to prepare their applications for expanded DACA and DAPA, or move forward on applications under the original DACA program. We stand ready to assist those who qualify for the current DACA program and will continue to prepare those who qualify for the expanded DACA and DAPA programs. Consultation with our legal team is strictly confidential and our organization provides multilingual and culturally sensitive legal services to the many diverse communities of Los Angeles and Orange County. ”
For more information, to set an appointment for DACA services, or for an eligibility screening please email [email protected] or call our legal intake lines:
Upcoming clinics and workshops will also be listed here: http://www.advancingjustice-la.org/get-involved/events.