Published on 01-19-2016 02:55 PM
By Alan Lee, Esq.
The Supreme Court on January 19, 2016, has agreed to hear United States v. Texas, Docket #15-674, in the present term. The case is best known for the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability) program, under which a favorable ruling would affect the lives of 4,000,000+ undocumented immigrants, bringing them out of the shadows by making them eligible for a three-year work authorization and safety from deportation upon proving that they have been continuously present since 1/1/10, were illegal by 11/20/14, physically present on 11/20/14, the parent of a U. S. citizen or permanent resident who attained either status by 11/20/14, pass background checks and pay taxes, and present no other factors that in the exercise of discretion, makes the grant of deferred action inappropriate. After defeats by a conservative judge in a district court in Texas and by a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (in which 2 conservative judges appointed by Republican presidents of the 3 judges on the panel inexplicably wound up being seated on both appellate panels deciding on the preliminary injunction stay as well as the preliminary injunction merits), the Obama Administration is confident that it will prevail before the High Court. A decision is expected in June after briefing and oral arguments by April. Assuming that the Administration prevails, the DAPA program will begin from mid-to-late 2016 while Mr. Obama is still the President. Its continuation will likely depend upon the party of the next President. In accepting the case, the Court widened the issues by directing the parties to brief and argue the question of whether the government’s program violates the “take care clause” of the Constitution – in other words, whether the Obama Administration was abandoning its duty to take care of the provisions of the Constitution. This additional point had been brought up to the Court by the 26 challenging states on 12/29/15 in their contention that a duty under the “take care clause” was the President’s constitutional duty to enforce existing immigration laws that mandate the deportation of immigrants who enter the country illegally.
This article © 2016 Alan Lee, Esq. Reprinted with permission.
About The Author
Alan Lee, Esq. is an exclusive practitioner of immigration law based in New York City with an AV preeminent rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory for 20+ years, registered in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, on the New York Super Lawyers list (2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-2015), and recognized as a New York Area Top Rated Lawyer. He has written extensively on immigration over the past years for Interpreter Releases, Immigration Daily, and the ethnic newspapers, World Journal, Sing Tao, Epoch Times, Pakistan Calling, Muhasba and OCS; testified as an expert on immigration in civil court proceedings; and is a regular contributor to Martindale-Hubbell’s Ask-a-Lawyer program. His article, “The Bush Temporary Worker Proposal and Comparative Pending Legislation: an Analysis” was Interpreter Releases’ cover display article at the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in 2004; his 2004 case in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Firstland International v. INS, successfully challenged Legacy INS’ policy of over 40 years of revoking approved immigrant visa petitions under a nebulous standard of proof, although its central holding that the government had to notify approved immigrant petition holders of the revocation prior to the their departure to the U. S. for the petition to be able to be revoked was short-lived as it was specifically targeted in the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 (which in response changed the language of the revocation statute itself). Yet Firstland lives on as precedent that the government must comply with nondiscretionary duties established in law, and such failure is reviewable in federal courts. His 2015 case, Matter of Leacheng International, Inc., with the Administrative Appeals Office of USCIS (AAO) set nation-wide standards on the definition of “doing business” for multinational executives and managers to gain immigration benefits.