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3 Things You Need to Know about DACA & DAPA

Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a federal district court judge, issued a decision in the lawsuit brought by Texas challenging President Obama’s expansion of DACA and DAPA. In his decision, he issued a “preliminary injunction,” meaning that he temporarily blocked the implementation of the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). Here are three things you need to know:

1) This is not a defeat. The preliminary injunction will delay the implementation of DACA expansion and possibly DAPA. We are confident that this ruling will be overturned. Yes, it could take some time, but if you are likely eligible for these programs, keep preparing to apply.
2) The court decision solely affects the expansion of DACA and DAPA. It does not affect the other areas of immigration law that Obama’s announcement last November addressed nor does it affect the DACA program implemented in 2012. The immigration office continues to accept applications for initial and renewal DACA under the original requirements implemented in 2012.
3) Forms for the expansion of DACA will no longer be available tomorrow, February 18th.  Secretary Jeh C. Johnson published a statement disagreeing with the court’s decision. Here is part of his statement:  “I strongly disagree with Judge Hanen’s decision to temporarily enjoin implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Department of Justice will appeal that temporary injunction; in the meantime, we recognize we must comply with it. Accordingly, the Department of Homeland Security will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned. Until further notice, we will also suspend the plan to accept requests for DAPA. The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts and even other courts have said that our actions are well within our legal authority. Our actions will also benefit the economy and promote law enforcement. We fully expect to ultimately prevail in the courts, and we will be prepared to implement DAPA and expanded DACA once we do.” 

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