On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of Executive Actions to be effected in early 2015, absent meaningful Congressional action for comprehensive immigration reform in the interim. Because the actions were phrased in terms of a challenge to Congress, it could be called ObamaDare.
On February 16, 2015, federal Judge Hanen in Texas issued a preliminary injunction against two portions of the executive actions affecting students and families, as described below. An appeal was taken and argued in the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals and as of 7/17/2015, no result has been obtained except that a request to dissolve the preliminary injunction was denied by the appeals court. The district court opinion was so large that originally it had to be divided into three digital files. See generally
Previously, a similar lawsuit was dismissed as legally defective by a federal judge sitting in Washington, D.C.
It is likely there will be eventual U.S. Supreme Court review. However, it is problematic whether such review can be achieved before the end of the Obama administration. The injunction of the Texas judge stops the Obama administration's efforts in its tracks unless and until a higher court reverses the order, stalling the executive actions and halting their momentum.
What the program would do if allowed to go forward:
It will include:
Aspects of the program still unclear as of 2/20/2015:
What has been left unsaid:
Combining categories 1-4 above, if freed from the constraints of Judge Hanen's order, ObamaDare would create new opportunities for undocumented persons to achieve permanent residency and ultimately citizenship. A fairly direct, if complicated, path may soon exist for millions of undocumented persons to seek permanent residency on the basis of family relations with U.S. citizens, which rivals the reforms implemented for immigration under the Reagan and Clinton administrations in scope and import.
The original DACA program remains unaffected by the judicial actions, and the same new opportunities exist for qualified beneficiaries potentially to become permanent residents and ultimately citizens that are referenced in the previous paragraph.
The details of the programs have not yet been fully announced, and in immigration, the devil is often in the details. The general takeway is that while specifics are uncertain, the general outlines and direction are clear. If the programs are allowed to go forward, undocumented young persons with specified education or the equivalent and those having U.S. citizen or permanent resident children should have a chance to become legal in the U.S., ultimately including citizenship, depending on U.S. citizen family members.
What to do now:
Click here to review the original DACA 1.0 requirements which remain in effect notwithstanding the Texas federal court injunction against executive actions.
If you have a concern about deferred executive actions, call Messing Law Offices (520) 512-5432 for a free brief telephonic evaluation or to schedule an initial consultation.