By Ekaterina Powell, Esq.
As you may already know from reading our prior posts, on February 16, 2015, the Texas federal district court issued a preliminary injunction to stop expanded DACA (expanded guidance concerning deferred action for certain individuals who came to the United States as children) and DAPA (deferred action for the parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents) from going into effect. The case is known as Texas v. United States, the Lawsuit Challenging DAPA and DACA Expansion.
The decision came only two days before USCIS was supposed to start accepting applications under Expanded DACA guidelines issued by the President in November of 2014.
The decision was a surprise to many of those who were prepared to file their applications on February 18, 2015.
What does the preliminary injunction mean?
Since the preliminary injunction was issued, USCIS cannot accept any applications under expanded DACA, which was supposed to become effective on February 18, 2015, and will not implement its policies regarding DAPA, the program that was set to start in May 2015.
This injunction also affects those who file for extension of their existing DACA. Since expanded DACA rules have not become effective, USCIS will continue to issue employment authorization documents (EADs) for renewals of existing DACA requests for two-year periods as opposed to three-year periods.
What is a solution?
After the preliminary injunction was issued, the federal government promised to appeal the decision of the Texas district court in the Court of Appeals. However, an appeal can take a considerable amount of time and delay can detrimentally harm millions of families, causing unnecessary deportation for those who could qualify under expanded DACA and DAPA relief.
In order to prevent the harm caused by the appeal’s delays, today, February 23, 2015, the federal government filed an emergency expedited motion to stay, pending appeal, its February 16 Order.