Supreme Court split on DAPA/DACA

CourtBuilding_smOn June 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision in the case United States v. Texas. The case dealt with the institution of Deferred Action guidelines made by President Barrack Obama regarding the expansion of the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the addition of the program known as DAPA (Deferred Action of Parents of Americans). The DACA expansion would allow more young individuals who arrived in the United States as minors to qualify for temporary status and work authorization. DAPA would allow parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders to be protected from deportation and qualify for work permits. In 2015, led by Texas, 26 states attorneys generals filed suit to block the programs from being implemented, claiming that the President’s administration had overstepped their Executive boundaries. Texas stated that it had a reason to bring the suit because the program would require the state to issue drivers’ licenses to DACA and DAPA eligible individuals, causing their government to sustain a financial injury from the President’s program.

Last month, the Supreme Court announced a split 4-4 decision on the matter. As a result, the original opinion of the lower court in Texas is left in place, and the DAPA and DACA expansion programs cannot be implemented. Although the split decision does not set a precedent or a binding decision for the future, immigration laws will stay as they are, and many individuals will remain in their situation until another case is brought before the Court or new immigration laws are presented.

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