In 2014, President Obama issued an executive order for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) which would prevent the deportation of illegal immigrants whose children were born in this country or are currently legal U.S. residents. Since then, 26 states led by Texas Governor Greg Abbott have brought suit, alleging that President Obama violated the law and the “Take Care Clause” of the United States Constitution. Opponents of the executive order argue that President Obama overstepped his bounds by bypassing Congress. The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, rendering a decision in June 2016.
DAPA broadens President Obama’s earlier policy of delaying deportation for approximately 770,000 illegal immigrants. Under the new policy, 4.3 million adults with children who are U.S. citizens or lawful residents would become eligible for health care, disability, and retirement benefits. The temporary protection from deportation would extend for three years.
Thus far, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled in Texas’ favor, stating that President Obama’s plan “would allow illegal aliens to receive the benefits of lawful presence solely on account of their children’s immigration status, without complying with any of the requirements…that Congress has deliberately imposed.” Those in favor of President Obama’s DAPA focus more on the challenges illegal immigrants face when unable to lawfully work in the U.S., yet have American-citizen children, than the separation of powers issue the court discussed.
If you are seeking help on immigration matters or possibly facing deportation, call the experienced attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP at (212) 267-2555.