On November 9, 2015, the Fifth Circuit upheld a lower Texas federal court’s injunction against two new executive actions introduced by President Obama last year to better align removals (deportations) with current enforcement priorities. The Deferred Action for Parental Accountability initiative (DAPA) would defer removal and enable undocumented parents of U.S. citizen children to obtain employment authorization, social security numbers, and driver’s licenses. Currently it is not possible for most undocumented parents of U.S. citizen children to obtain these benefits.
The other initiative would expand the number of immigrants eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which offers the same benefits as DAPA. Only immigrants who entered the United States prior to the age of sixteen who meet educational, physical presence and residence requirements would qualify. Neither measure would offer a path to citizenship or benefit those who were convicted of certain crimes. Both were designed to keep convicted criminals at the forefront of immigrants being removed while permitting those with strong citizen family ties and other sympathetic circumstances to remain for renewable, two-year time periods. Approximately four million people would be eligible to apply.
The Obama Administration appealed the Fifth Circuit’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court on November 20, 2015. Please contact your attorney at Rose Immigration Law Firm, PLC if you have any questions regarding your eligibility for DAPA or DACA.