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Supreme Court Split, DAPA and expanded DACA Still A Dream


Supreme Court Split, DAPA and expanded DACA Still A Dream

AUSTIN June 23, 2016 – This morning, , 2016 the United States Supreme Court reached a total 4-4 split on the Obama Administration’s proposals for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program (DAPA) and the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), leaving millions of hopeful immigrants in limbo.

On November 20, 2014, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson issued new policies which allow certain aliens who arrived in the United States on or before January 1, 2010 to apply for deferred action, a form of prosecutorial discretion under which aliens are not removed from the United States and that authorizes them to seek permission to work lawfully in the United States. The Secretary’s policies apply to certain individuals who came to the United States as children under the age of 16 of who are parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent resident children.

American Gateways, founded here in Austin, Texas, was one of many area providers poised to assist and represent many of the millions of immigrant families this life-changing order would affect. However, since February 16, 2015, federal Judge Andrew Hanen of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas enjoined the law and it has been tied up in court until now, to a totally uncertain future.

This split upholds the injunction and freezes DAPA and the expansion of the DACA for the duration of the Obama presidency, and quite possibly forever. Effectively, it is a decision not to decide. The consequence for our clients, and countless others is the perpetuation of a life of uncertain futures, the specter of family separation, and economic dis-empowerment. “We were really optimistic that the public interest basis and common sense appeal of the expansion would make sense in front of the Court,” said Edna Yang, Assistant Executive Director of American Gateways. “It’s going to be a very interesting and long legal struggle ahead.”

American Gateways will continue to stand with DREAMers and immigrant families as they fight for recognition in this country. We urge immigration advocates to organize against this decision and also call upon lawmakers to begin work immediately on a comprehensive and lasting solution for our clients.


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