On November 20 and 21, 2014, President Barack Obama announced a series of administrative reforms of immigration policy, collectively referred to as the Immigration Accountability Executive Action. Central to these reforms is a plan to expand eligibility under the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to create a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program for the parents of U.S citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents who meet certain criteria. Both DACA and DAPA derive from the executive branch’s inherent authority to exercise discretion in the prosecution and enforcement of immigration cases. In both instances, the President has authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to defer for three years the deportation of qualified individuals who pose no threat to the United States in the hope that Congress will finally undertake comprehensive, more permanent immigration reform.
Within hours of the announcement, notorious Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio challenged the President’s plan to defer deportations in a Washington, D.C., federal court. Shortly thereafter, representatives of 17 states filed a similar case in a Brownsville, Texas, federal court. An additional 9 states later joined that case. On the other hand, twelve other states and the District of Columbia, and 33 U.S. cities (led by New York, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles), have filed a “friend-of-the-court” brief supporting the President’s plan. The Washington, D.C. federal court has already dismissed Sheriff Arpaio’s lawsuit, and the U.S. Government has moved to dismiss the states’ lawsuit as well.
While these cases are more political diatribe than legal argument, and are unlikely to succeed in the long run, understanding the procedural steps and the nature of the arguments helps to put the cases in perspective.
The LawsuitsRead more...
Published On: Fri, Dec 19, 2014 | Download File