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U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Immigration Executive Action

Bryan Little, FELS Chief Operating Officer

June 24, 2016

In a 4-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court announced June 23 that it could not reach a decision on the President's Executive Actions on immigration, with remain subject to an injunction blocking its implementation. The case will now be returned to the Texas federal trial court, which will determine the merits of the original lawsuit.  Undocumented workers who would have benefited from the expansion of Deferred Action programs will not be able to seek protection from deportation and work authorization.

President Obama first announced his immigration initiative on November 2014 as part of a series of executive actions on immigration reform, which was  intended to  provide temporary relief from deportation and eligibility to work in the United States under a program to be known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents or DAPA.  The initiative also provided for an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from 2012. . 

Shortly after the President’s announced DAPA and DACA expansion, Texas and 25 other states challenged the action in federal court in Texas. In February 2015, the judge temporarily blocked the implementation of the expanded DACA and DAPA, prohibiting the federal government from taking any further actions to implement the initiatives. The federal government appealed that decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, but lost that appeal on November 2015, leading to the appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court's decision.

You can read more about this in "Supreme Court splits 4-4 in challenge to Obama's deferred-deportation program; injunction remains" ABA Journal, June 23.