Contributed Aaron Hall, Partner
Judge Andrew Hanen, a federal judge in the Southern District of Texas, issued a preliminary injunction which delays implementation of Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Deferred Action for Parents of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Applicants who qualify under the 2012 version of DACA can continue to apply and renew for grants of DACA.
The preliminary injunction does not mean that Judge Hanen has decided that the programs are illegal or unconstitutional. It merely means that he is ordering that DHS not begin the program while he considers the case. Given this ruling and given previous statements by Judge Hanen regarding prosecutorial discretion in immigration cases, it does seem likely that Judge Hanen could rule against the programs. It is important to know, however, that the federal government will almost certainly appeal the ruling on the injunction and any ruling striking down the programs to a higher court.
While there are of course no guarantees in any court of law, the arguments and precedent for the DACA and DAPA as legitimate exercises of prosecutorial discretion are strong and we therefore expect that the programs will be upheld as lawful in the end. We would therefore recommend that potential applicants continue preparing to apply by gathering documents demonstrating their presence in the country since before January 1, 2010, and consulting with a qualified immigration attorney.
To set up a consultation regarding a potential application for DACA or DAPA, please call us at (303)-297-9171.
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