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Texas Immigration Block Being Challenged Across the Country

Mexican-born José Lopez, now living in Chicago, is challenging a recent federal court decision, which he argues was unfairly applied to his case. After the decision in Texas v. United States, the United States Citizen & Immigration Services (USCIS) revoked Lopez's three-year work permit granted under the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois will hear Lopez’s argument that a Texas federal judge’s decision to loosen restrictions on immigrant work permits is “unlawfully broad” and should therefore not take effect unless he has opportunity to dispute the grounds of revocation.

In early 2015, USCIS approved Lopez’s DACA application, allowing him to work legally in the U.S. After the announcement of President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive actions, USCIS extended Lopez’s work permit for three years, as it did in for millions of other beneficiaries of the DACA program. Lopez was able to defer deportation and apply for work permits in three-year periods. But in May 2015, Lopez received a letter from USCIS stating that his three-year extension would be revoked.

The decision to revoke Lopez’s permit was based on the United State District Court of the Southern District of Texas’ decision to issue a preliminary injunction on the program that his permit was issued under. The case, Texas v. United States, made its way to the short-handed United States Supreme Court which failed to issue a decision after being deadlocked 4 to 4. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court refused to re-hear the decision.

Lopez argues that a judge in Texas should not have the ability to affect other communities. His position is representative of an area of the country where city and state officials have repeatedly expressed support for President Obama’s expansion of deferred action. Lopez’s complaint, falling in line with demands of immigrants from the greater Chicago area, asks the court to (1) declare that the February 2015 preliminary injunction entered in Texas v. United States does not apply to Illinois residents such as himself; (2) declare that the revocation of his employment authorization was unlawful; (3) vacate and set aside the revocation, while ordering reinstatement of his three-year employment authorization; and (4) enjoin USCIS from revoking any employment authorization on the basis of the preliminary injunction in Texas v. United States.

The case will be one to follow, since it could overturn the decision in Texas v. United States if it is eventually heard by the Supreme Court. Other lawsuits that challenge the application of Texas v. United States, like Martin Jonathan Batalla Vidal v. Kathy A. Baran, et al., are springing up across the country.

If you are seeking help with deportation or another immigration matter, or if you would like to apply for a green card, call the experienced immigration attorneys at Bretz & Coven LLP at (212) 267-2555.

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