The lawsuit regarding President Obama’s executive actions on immigration has been making its way through the federal court system for over a year now. Just this week, a new development in the lawsuit took place. Below is a brief history of the lawsuit followed by the most recent update.
History of the lawsuit:
- As you may recall, President Obama announced his long anticipated executive action expanding the DACA program and creating DAPA back in November.
- Almost immediately after the announcement, a group of 26 states filed a lawsuit in a federal district court to stop the President’s new program from going into effect.
- In February, a federal district judge issued an injunction that blocked the program from going into effect. The federal government immediately appealed this decision to the United States Court of Appeals.
- In the meantime, the federal government asked the federal district judge to “stay” his ruling or, in other words, to put his ruling on hold pending an appeal. The government asked for this stay so that it could begin the expanded DACA/DAPA programs while the lawsuit took place.
- The federal district judge refused to stay his decision. The federal government appealed this decision as well. The Court of Appeals heard oral arguments about why the lower court’s decision should be stayed.
- In May, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the lower court’s ruling not to stay its decision could remain in place while the lawsuit is litigated.
Most recent update:
On Monday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the injunction issued by the federal district judge barring the Obama Administration to begin implementing the new DACA/DAPA programs can remain in place while the lawsuit is litigated. The Obama Administration had hoped the Appeals Court would lift the injunction, allowing the Department to begin implementing the program.
The Obama Administration announced that it will appeal the 5th Circuit’s decision to the United States Supreme Court. The Administration is in a bit of a time crunch given the Supreme Court’s calendar. In order for the Supreme Court to hear the case and decide on it during this term, the Administration will have to file its appeal relatively soon. After the appeal is filed, Texas and the 25 other states will then have time to respond. Only after all of this is completed will the nine Supreme Court Justices decide whether or not to take up the case. If the Justices decide not to take up the case, the decision of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals remains in place. The President would like to have the DACA/DAPA programs in place by the time he leaves office in January 2017.
What does all this mean?
It means that while there is a lawsuit pending, the federal government cannot begin to carry out the President’s new expanded DACA program. Basically, the programs are on hold until the lawsuit is resolved. The original DACA program, however, still remains in effect and applications for that can still be processed.
For more information about this lawsuit, be sure to check our blog for updates. If you have any questions of for more information you should contact an experienced immigration attorney.