On November 9, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a lower court injunction that halted a key component of the Obama Administration’s executive action relating to immigration. In November 2014, the Administration announced a host of new immigration policies, including an expansion of the previously implemented Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), and a similar policy intended to provide relief from deportation and work authorization for certain undocumented individuals with U.S. citizen children or children in lawful permanent resident status. That policy, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), in combination with DACA’s expansion, was estimated to provide deportation relief and work authorization for as many as five million people.
In December 2014, 26 states filed suit in Texas to enjoin the Federal Government from moving forward with the DAPA and DACA policy initiatives. In February 2015, the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas enjoined the Administration from moving forward with its policy. Yesterday’s decision by the Fifth Circuit upholds the injunction put in place by the District Court. On November 10, 2015, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the Administration would appeal the Fifth Circuit’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.