January 19, 2016 was a big day for immigrant advocates; the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the arguments regarding the legality of President Obama’s executive action expanding the current DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). The President issued the new action in November of 2014, with an expected implementation date 180 days later. Carpenter & Capt has been receiving almost daily calls since the announcement of the program, but unfortunately it has not yet been implemented due to a lawsuit filed in Texas on the eve of the effective date. That suit has wound its way through the court system, and finally, on January 19th of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear it. A piece of Obama’s executive action announced that parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been in the country since January 1, 2010, will be eligible to apply for deferred action and employment. This can last for 3 years under the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability Program (DAPA) as long as they pass the required background checks, and be extended in 3 year increments.
The potential ramifications of a favorable decision are huge. It will allow millions of undocumented immigrants to rest at ease, knowing they cannot be separated from their children. Parents will also be able to find work in better conditions with much better pay as the constant threat of deportation has abated and work authorization granted. With work authorization, this enormous segment of the U.S. population will be allowed to get social security cards and driver’s licenses. The decision addressing immigration reform will carry as many political ramifications as such topics as abortion or voting rights. The case will be heard in April 2016 with the decision expected by June, before the next Presidential election.
Stay tuned for more information on the DAPA program and other legal news....