Court Hears Emergency Appeal to Temporary Block of Obama's Extended DACA, DAPA Programs

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COURTESY OF WHITEHOUSE.GOV
  • Courtesy of whitehouse.gov

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals finally heard the U.S. Department of Justice's emergency appeal to the temporary block of President Obama's November 2014 immigration actions.

In February a federal judge stalled applications for the extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, as well as deferred action for parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said people could start filing paperwork for this one some time in May), while a lawsuit against both executive actions on behalf of 26 states, including Arizona, is resolved. 
From an article on The New York Times this morning:
If the government lawyers fail in their bid to reverse the judge's preliminary injunction, Mr. Obama's immigration efforts could remain in legal limbo for months, raising doubts about whether the policies will be carried out before the president leaves office.

The rare hearing before a three-judge panel allowed lawyers for both sides to make their cases publicly. In most similar cases, legal experts said, appeals courts make decisions based solely on written briefs. In the high-profile case, however, each side had one hour to argue—twice the amount of time generally provided to lawyers in Supreme Court cases. 

Lawyers for Mr. Obama insisted that the states have no right to challenge the executive actions because they will suffer no direct harm if the moves are carried out. They asked the appeals court to lift the preliminary injunction while the legal case proceeds.
Despite the temporary injunction, immigration rights activists pleaded undocumented people who could benefit from either one of the programs to continue plans to apply—from gathering documents to raising money to cover filing costs.

This afternoon, U.S. Reps. Raúl Grijalva and Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, as well as representatives from national immigration groups, will host a community forum on the immigration actions at 5:30 p.m. at Pima Community College Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road.

"Attendees will learn vital information about how they or someone they know can participate in President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs. They will also hear directly from local students impacted by these programs," a press release from Grijalva's office said. 

From the New York Times:
If the appeals court lifts Judge Hanen's injunction, administration officials could quickly move to carry out the executive actions. That would mean that millions of undocumented immigrants could soon begin applying for protection under a program that would allow them to remain in the country legally but would not provide a path to citizenship.

Opponents could still seek to block the actions by appealing to the Supreme Court. And even if the programs move ahead, the underlying legal challenge could still continue in Texas. Briefs on the merits of the challenge are due in mid-May, and an initial hearing could come in June.

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