In November of 2014, President Obama announced executive actions on immigration to great fanfare. Nearly a year later, some of the most high profile of those actions, including Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), have yet to be implemented. DAPA would allow a grant of deferred action and a work permit for parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents if they (1) have resided in the U.S. since at least January 1, 2010; (2) have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident son or daughter; and (3) do not have disqualifying crimes and are not otherwise high enforcement priorities.
Though the new deferred action program was originally slated to begin in spring of 2015, it has been delayed because the legality of the program was challenged in federal courts. In July 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the legality of the program. A decision from the Fifth Circuit could come at any time. Because two of the three judges assigned to the case had previously ruled against the program in a battle over a temporary injunction, it is widely expected that the court will again rule against it.
Regardless, the losing side will likely appeal the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court accepts the case before January, it would likely be able to hear the case and issue a decision by June 2016.
In short, DAPA remains in limbo. The Department of Homeland Security is still eager to implement it and begin accepting applications. But until the courts come out with a final decision on the constitutionality of the program, everything is on hold.
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