President Barack Obama asks the court to restart amnesty as millions of undocumented aliens await a final decision on Obama’s executive action. President Obama states that he has full confidence that the appeal will be granted. President Obama states “I think the law is on our side and history is on our side.”
Attorney General Eric Holder has stated that, at this current time, the DOJ is still looking over the ruling and making a plan on how to go forward with the appeals process. He has further said that the ruling is an “interim step” towards an eventual one by higher courts.
Judge’s Order Pauses DAPA and DACA
In 2012, President Obama presented what are known as DACA applications, which was set to eliminate age restrictions for seeking legal status. This program was set to begin on February 18, but the ruling by the District Court Judge has paused this and DAPA applications. The second application type would allow for parents of American citizens to also apply for legal status. President Obama has responded to the ruling by stating that “I disagree with the Texas judge’s ruling and the Justice Department will appeal. This is not the first time where a lower court judge has blocked something or attempted to block something that ultimately was shown to be lawful.” He continues, “I’m confident that it is well within my authority and the tradition of the executive branch’s prosecutorial discretion to execute this policy.”
Department of Homeland Security Will Follow Ruling
President Obama has made it clear that applications for DACA and DAPA will not move forward and that the Department of Homeland Security will ultimately comply with the ruling. However, Obama has also noted that they will begin to prepare for these applications once all legal issues have been firmly resolved.
“We’re not going to disregard this federal court ruling.” Obama said “The law is the law in this country, and we take things a step at a time.”
Judge Believes Programs Would Change Legal Status of Population
This ruling has acknowledged that the Obama administration does have the right to fully exercise prosecutorial discretion about which immigrants are specifically targeted for eventual deportation, but that these new applications would change the legal status of certain members of the population. Though current undocumented immigrants that were to be provided protection with these applications don’t currently have the ability to apply for work permits, the Department of Homeland Security still retains the ability to decide on which cases for deportation to prioritize. While the department has stated that “Mom’s with kids” won’t be targeted, there is no legal guarantee for this claim.
Congress Continues to Fight
Democrats and Republicans in Congress continue to fight over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which expires on Feb. 27. Republicans have backed a measure that would provide further funding for the department, though have attached several provisions that would stop Obama’s executive actions from going into law. The Democrats have continued to filibuster this measure.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has put out a statement saying “This ruling underscores what the president has already acknowledged publicly 22 times. He doesn’t have the authority to take the kinds of actions he once referred to as ‘ignoring the law’ and ‘unwise and unfair’.” The statement continues, “Senate Democrats — especially those who’ve voiced opposition to the president’s executive overreach — should end their partisan filibuster of Department of Homeland Security funding.”
President Obama Urges Lawmakers to Pass Department of Homeland Security Funding
President Obama strongly urged for lawmakers to pass the funding for the department “so they can go forward with all the functions that Republicans say they want carried out, including stronger border security functions.”
President Obama Asks Republicans to Work With Democrats
President Obama has issued a strong request for Republicans to work with Democrats in Congress on immigration reform, stating that “With a new congress, my hope has been that they now get serious in solving the problem. Instead what we’ve had is a series of votes to kick out young people who have grown up here and who everybody recognizes are part of our community, and threats to defund the Department of Homeland Security, which would make it even harder for us to protect our borders and keep our people safe.”
Know Your Options and Spread the Word
Although the recent Texas ruling has temporarily paused DACA and DAPA, applicants should still be prepared. There is a national appeal in the process and a large percentage is still fighting for DACA and DAPA to be enforced. Applicants should investigate if they are eligible for alternatives do DAPA/DACA such as a 601-A waiver. To understand how you, a family member or a close friend can start preparing contact Pride Immigration Law Firm PLLC online or call us right away. We will advise you on what is the best option for you or your loved one.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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