The Road and the Future of DACA + / DAPA in the Courts
On February 16, 2015, the executive actions announced by President Obama were temporarily blocked by a federal court in the Southern District of Texas. Since then, thousands of families remain in the shadows as the courts continue the arguments about the constitutionality of DACA + and DAPA in the case of Texas et al v The United States et al. We know that President Obama's actions are legal under the US Constitution and urge millions of immigrant families to have the opportunity to apply for relief from deportation and have a temporary work permit.
Following unfavorable ruling in Texas, the Department of Justice appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Our farm worker movement had delegates who traveled to meet with activists from all over the country in New Orleans. Although the appeal process took many months, the Fifth Circuit Court also ruled against President Obama's executive actions on November 9, 2015. This ruling was expected since this same court also ruled against a "request for Emergency" which would have allowed the programs to be implemented as arguments continued in court. Subsequently, the Justice Department announced that it would take its appeal against to the United State Supreme Court on November 10, 2015.
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANSWERS
On November 10, 2015, the Justice Department formally asked the United States Supreme Court to review the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. It is no surprise that on December 4, multitudes of organizations, including the UFW Foundation and the UFW, came together to support the Executive Actions by adding their name to an "Amicus Brief" pledging their support for the immigration executive actions. Texas, hoping these programs will never come into effect, asked the Supreme Court for a 30-day extension to file its opposition case. Typically extensions are granted, but the United States Supreme Court allowed only 8 days. If the 30 days extension had been granted, it was quite possible that the case would not have heard in the coming term. The Justice Department believes that their appeal will be considered on January 15 but they also know that judges typically do not decide on the first conference. It is likely that there will be another additional date to decide whether or not to take the case.
WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?
The months of January and February will reveal whether or not the Supreme Court of the United States decided to take on the case. Legal briefs will then be submitted on the case between February and April 2016. The Justice Department has said it plans to request a date as soon as possible to have the arguments in April. By the end of June 2016, we could have a victory by the highest court in the United States.
The federal government, immigrant advocates as well as all of the farm worker movement remain positive. The entire community is asked to continue to be informed and to continue to prepare their documents, savings, etc. to apply under these initiatives. Si Se Puede!