On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court gave a glimmer of hope to President Obama’s 2014 Immigration Executive Action plans that have been stalled in federal court since last year. The high court will either lift the ban on the President’s immigration plans or they will affirm the lower federal court’s ruling, ringing a final death bell to these actions.
In November of 2014, the President issued executive actions creating two types of Deferred Action that would benefit about 4-5 million people currently in the United States without lawful immigration status. You may ask yourself, Do I qualify for DAPA or expanded DACA? I blogged about these programs in 2014:
See https://www.floridaimmigrationlawyerblog.com/2014/11/president_obama_announces_a_ne.html for DAPA, and
https://www.floridaimmigrationlawyerblog.com/2014/11/president_obama_expands_dacade.html for expanded DACA.
DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) was an entirely new Deferred Action program that would help an estimated 3-4 million undocumented parents stay in the U.S., obtain work permits and driver’s licenses. DAPA requires that :
1) You have, on November 20th, 2014, a son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and 2) You have continuously resided in the U.S. since before January 1st, 2010; and 3) You are physically present in the U.S. on November 20th, 2014, and at the time of making a request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS; and 4) You have no lawful immigration status on November 20th, 2014; and 5) You are not an enforcement priority (little to no criminal record).
Expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) requires that:
1) You entered the United States before the age of 16 years old; and 2) Have continuously resided in the United States as of January 1st, 2010; and 3) Were physically present in the United States on January 1st, 2010, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS; and 4) Had no lawful immigration status on January 1st, 2010; and 5) Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and 6) Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
But before you run out to your favorite Orlando Immigration Attorney to apply, remember, these programs do not yet legally exist unless and until the Supreme Court decides they can go forward. See our dedicated Deferred Action website for more information: http://www.getdeferredaction.com
If the Supremes decide that the lower court was correct in blocking these actions, they will have to agree that the President violated some technical administrative law rules and the 26 States who sued will suffer damages if the plans are allowed to go forward. Only the fiercest opponents of the President’s unilateral executive action think that the Supreme Court chose to intervene in this case just to affirm the lower court’s ruling. The Supreme Court does not usually accept cases just to keep the status quo.
No, the Supreme Court chose to take up this case because they want to make a statement. It is very possible that the Court will slap the hands of both the President and the lower federal courts for their actions. The Supremes may very well tell the lower federal court that they should not have gotten involved in this case, but also tell the President that he doesn’t have the power issue such sweeping immigration action, which appears to ignore existing immigration law, without congressional approval.
Oral arguments will take place in April and the decision will come down this summer. Stay tuned for more information and if you have questions don’t call an immigration consultant or another form of notario, call a Board Certified immigration attorney to see if you qualify for DACA or DAPA.
John Gihon is a Florida Bar Board Certified expert in Immigration and Nationality Law and a Crimmigration Consultant. You can contact John If you need an Orlando Immigration Attorney or a DACA Attorney or DAPA attorney, no matter where you live in the world.