United States v. Texas

What to Watch for in Monday's Supreme Court Case on DAPA/DACA

This Monday, April 18, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on President Obama’s executive order calling for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and for expanding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The outcome of this case will have enormous impact on millions of immigrants and their families, the fabric of our communities, and our national identity.

At their core, both these programs are about keeping families together.  For DAPA, almost 90% of those eligible for the program are parents of U.S. citizens. Most Americans agree that a parent of a U.S. citizen or a young person who came to this country as a child shouldn’t be priorities for deportation. That’s what DAPA and DACA establish.

There is a lot of rhetoric about fear and hate in the political discourse these days. We don’t think this reflects the values our nation was founded on, nor the values of the vast majority of Americans. We can’t let fear politics overcome common sense.

Background on United States v. Texas

In November 2014, President Obama issued several executive orders clarifying the country’s immigration priorities. They expanded the DACA program and began a new program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans—DAPA. These programs allowed eligible people to come forward and request a declaration of “deferred action on deportation,” meaning the potential for deportation for these people would become low priority. The programs also granted accepted candidates a temporary work authorization.

Almost immediately after the President’s announcement, several states, including Texas, challenged the executive orders. A judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction–putting the orders on hold—saying that because the state would be required to issue more driver’s licenses under the programs, it posed a “legal injury” to the state. Because of the injunction, millions of immigrants who qualified for one program or the other are unable to seek relief.

The United States government challenged the injunction, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the holding, and the programs remain inactive. The U.S. asked the Supreme Court to review the lower courts’ decisions.

The Court will hear oral arguments on Monday. There are two locations interested San Diegans can go to hear the arguments and discuss the issues:

  • North County Immigration Task Force is hosting a viewing at 370 Mulberry Drive, Suite E, San Marcos 92069. 6:00 – 8:00 PM. For more information, call Patricia: 760.831.1491.
  • San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium is hosting an event at Christ Ministry Center, 3295 Meade Ave., San Diego 92116. 5:30 – 7:30 PM. For more information, call 619.363.3423 or visit www.readynowsandiego.org.

Read our ACLU friend-of-the-court brief.