This past November, millions of lives were changed due to the announcement of President Obama’s new and expanded programs to benefit undocumented immigrants. This past Monday night, those lives were changed again.
It’s no secret that DACA and DAPA have been controversial. Opponents have used the past three months to rally opposition, culminating in a lawsuit against the federal government, brought by states from Texas to Maine, who are convinced that the new and expanded programs are both unconstitutional and a draw for new potential illegal immigration. Ironically, with the exception of Texas, Florida, and Georgia, these outraged states have relatively low levels of immigration.
On Monday, February 16, 2015 Southern District of Texas Federal Judge Andrew Hanen issued a preliminary injunction temporarily ceasing the implementation of the expanded DACA and DAPA.
Although he offered plenty of negative commentary and dicta on what, in his view, is the administration’s refusal to control immigration, in the end his decision came down not to the programs themselves, but the way in which they were announced.
Citing the Administrative Procedure Act, Hanen ordered both DACA and DAPA halted for the foreseeable future. His decision comes two days before the new and expanded DACA was supposed to go into effect.
President Obama has promised to fight the decision to the Fifth Circuit. In the meantime, all applicants can do is wait.