On June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 4-4 on President Barack Obama’s proposed immigration reform policies, preventing his administration from providing deportation relief to millions of immigrant families across the country. The unfavorable ruling on the policies, DAPA and expanded DACA, follows a drawn-out legal battle (U.S. v. Texas).
In November 2015, Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Brownsville issued an injunction against the policies alongside 26 states, claiming they violated federal immigration laws. After being held up at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the case was taken to the Supreme Court last January for judicial review.
The Supreme Court’s negative ruling on U.S. v. Texas dealt a blow to the possibility of extending temporary lawful status to over four million undocumented immigrants. Now, many are faced with the threat of increased deportation raids and workplace attacks because of their legal status. Implementation of Obama’s proposed immigration policies would have otherwise allowed undocumented immigrants to apply for work permits and other vital resources.
Despite the unfavorable ruling on DAPA and expanded DACA, the original DACA policy (2012) remains intact, providing temporary relief to undocumented youth who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007.
If you’d like more information on the lawsuit, go to nilc.org.