DACA/DAPA Expansion Immigration Update from the Fifth District Court

UPDATE July 3, 2015

DAPA and DACA extension has been halted since the last decision on May 26 upheld the lower court’s ruling. Two of the three justices determined the new policy enacted by the U.S. Immigration violated protocols provided to the States to voice their consent or descent. As a result the initial day for the Expanded DACA and DAPA program was halted the administration is unable to pursue its plans.

This ruling does not kill the executive order for the expanded DACA & DAPA program but only delays execution of the executive order enacted by President Obama on November 20th, 2014. The ongoing lawsuit on the legality of the executive order was placed on hold to provide time for the appeal process to play though. Hearings are expected to resume in August.


The 2014 expansion of DACA and DAPA remains in a continued standstill as Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans considers its decision on an appeal in the Texas vs United States.  On April 17, the court heard arguments on the merits of Judge Andrew S. Hanen’s decision to delay the expansion of deportation relief programs signed into existence by executive order by President Obama.

According to Judge Hanen Texas’ rights to be heard were violated when the administration failed to follow certain procedures prescribed in the Take Care Clause of the Constitution and Administrative Procedure Act.

The Attorney for the U.S. contends that states have no rights to interfere with immigration law or prosecutorial discretion exercised by the executive and the department of homeland security. On the other hand the Texas contends that because they can demonstrate financial harm based on status change of undocumented immigrants to having lawful presence it will afford them rights that the states could not afford to provide and therefore would have a right to be heard.

The court did not limit itself to the merit of the appeal but the executive order as a whole. Most notably the court did question the risk and instability of the status for immigrants because information freely given in order to obtain deportation relief could in turn provide the current or future administration a ready database of individuals that can be pursued and deported at any time.

The last note itself gives reason for immigrants and their supporters to continue to pursue immigration reform through congress. Only through permanent changes and positive immigration reform can families of both dreamers and second generation immigrant children feel safe to reach their full potential and America can feel it’s positive effects.

According to a study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce the U.S. will face major shortages in the workforce pool as baby boomers retire and expect a shortfall of 5 million workers with post-secondary education and training. The fact remains that America needs everyone including DACA and DAPA immigrants and their children to reach their full potential. This would be possible only if they were granted true security for themselves and their immediate family members.

For more information:


Fifth Circuit of Appeals Oral Arguments: Texas vs United States

Court chilly to Barack Obama immigration moves


2/19/2015  A federal ruling in Texas on February 17, temporarily delayed the expansion of deportation relief programs, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).  President Obama issued an Executive Order on November 14,  providing deportation relief to five million immigrants that include children brought to the United States by their undocumented parents, parents with U.S. born children, and immediate family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

The federal court decision is based on a lawsuit filed by 26 states to stop the Executive Order issued by President Obama.  There were also 12 states supporting the Executive Order.  The suit is based on a November 2014 memorandum signed by the secretary of Department of Homeland Security to create the DAPA program and expand DACA. The states allege this memorandum violated the Take Care Clause of the Constitution and Administrative Procedure Act which required certain procedures be followed before the creation of federal regulations, namely, provide notice in the Federal Register, with period for comment.

Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the U.S. District Court in Brownsville acknowledged his opinion did not include the constitutionality of the Executive Order but rather on the state’s claims regarding the missteps in procedures. As such the ruling instead temporarily delayed the expansion of DACA and DAPA programs which would have begun Wednesday Feb. 18, 2015.  His decision, he also made clear, did not affect the DACA program of 2012 nor the DHS’s ability to set priorities.

According to the Pew Research Center, history reflects clear precedents of executive orders enacted to bring deportation relief to immigrants both illegally present or incoming. Prior to President Obama, three Republican and three Democrat presidents from Kennedy to Bill Clinton signed nine executive orders to bring timely relief for immigrants from South America, Vietnam, Cuba and more. Generally, these orders were followed by complementary legislation passed through Congress.

Based on these precedents many immigration advocates are confident that the final court’s rulings will rule in favor of the executive order and are advising DACA and DAPA eligible immigrants to continue preparing their paperwork. Advocates stress, though, that immigrants in current proceedings who would be eligible in the new program delay their proceedings until the program’s legality is no longer in question.

For more information:

Memorandum Opinion Texas vs. U.S.

Hopes hold dreamers vent anger of immigration ruling

After Judge Denies Intervention then Temporarily Halts Administrative
Immigration Relief, Maldef Reacts with Commitment to Appeal

Executive actions on immigration have long history

Advocates urge immigrants not to be deterred by ruling blocking Obama plan



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