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One Year After DAPA Announcement; Immigrants Continue To Fight

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Immigrants from across the country continue their push for the implementation of DAPA, an initiative that would shield parents of U.S. Citizens and legal permanent residents from deportation.

Announced by President Barack Obama on November 20, 2014, the program has been stalled in the courts for the past year – as Republican Governors launched a partisan lawsuit to prevent its implementation. Earlier this month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of a District Court Judge blocking DAPA.

Despite the many setbacks, immigrants, allies, and community members are showing no signs of slowing down their advocacy efforts – many of whom continue to call on their elected officials to support the program.

Organizations like NAKASEC and Virginia Dreamers marched from Arlington, VA to to the White House, where they share their stories – and the impact that DAPA would have on their families and communities.

The Texas-based group Workers Defense launched a pilgrimage from November 19  to November 21, walking nearly 40 miles from Taylor to Austin, in order to send a clear message to Governor Greg Abbott – DAPA is good for Texas, and good for the country.


Also in Texas, a DAPA eligible family shared their story with former Governor Martin O’Malley over lunch last week.

Meanwhile, members of the Florida Immigrant Coalition protested outside of Senator Marco Rubio’s office in Miami – calling out the Senator for turning his back on immigrants on the country, and highlighting that his intentions to terminate the current DACA programs do not sit well with the Latino and immigrant communities.


Today, the United States Department of Justice filed a petition of writ of certiorari asking the United States Supreme Court to review the decision of the Fifth Circuit. SCOTUSblog provides a review of what can happen with petition:

If the Court were to agree with the government’s argument that the states lacked the right to file their lawsuit, that would be the end of the case.  The Constitution only allows federal courts the authority to decide actual “cases or controversies,” and the lack of proof that a suing party had any vital interest at stake denies it the right even to file a lawsuit in those courts.

If the Court does confirm a right for the states to have sued, it presumably would then move on to decide whether the deferred-deportation policy was likely ultimately to be found illegal.


Technically, the case has reached the Supreme Court while still in a pre-trial stage. The lower courts, besides finding that the states do satisfy “standing” requirements, issued only preliminary orders blocking enforcement.  But they did so on the premise that the states were likely to win their challenge, once it went to a full trial.

NILC’s Executive Director Marielena Hincapié said:

“One year ago, immigrant communities and parents seeking a better life for their children celebrated as the president announced new protections that would provide relief from uncertainty and constant fear of deportation. Immigrant parents, workers, students, and youth fought hard to obtain this significant policy victory.

“Unfortunately, one year later immigrant families continue to live with the fear of deportation and a level of insecurity that has a devastating effect on their children. We are determined to see these important protections become a reality. With this swift filing by the Department of Justice for Supreme Court review, the Court has plenty of time to hear the case this term and provide stability to the millions of families stuck in legal limbo.”

If the Supreme Court does take the case, we will have a decision by the end of next June – right in the middle of the 2016 presidential contest.