Update on the court challenge to Obama's executive action on immigration

The federal lawsuit against the president’s immigration action is winding its way through the federal court system.

There are significant developments in the federal lawsuit in Texas by 26 states to halt President Barack Obama's November 2014 executive action on immigration. The president's action was intended to stop the possibility of deportation of some parents of citizens or legal permanent residents under the DAPA program, and to expand from two to three years the DACA program that gives deportation relief to some successful younger people who arrived illegally as children, known as the Dreamers.

Federal trial court injunction

For now, however, the president's orders that would have potentially halted deportation of some are stalled. In February 2015, the federal trial judge in the case issued a temporary stop to the government's implementation of the president's executive action.

Judge Andrew Hanen found that the executive action should be enjoined because the states suing the federal government had shown a substantial likelihood that they would be successful on the merits of their legal claim that the president's orders should have been subject to the federal Administrative Procedure Act's rulemaking requirements for public notice and comment.

In response, the federal government appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and asked Judge Hanen for an emergency expedited stay of his temporary injunction. The judge on April 7, 2015, refused to suspend his injunction of the president's executive action, relying on his original reasoning.

At the Court of Appeals, a hearing is scheduled for April 17, 2015, before a panel of judges to consider an emergency request to stay the trial court judge's temporary injunction until the full appeal is heard, according to The National Law Journal. A date for the full appeal is reportedly not yet scheduled.

The standing issue

Another issue in the case is that of standing, or the right of a party to bring a particular case. Judge Hanen found that Texas had standing because it showed it would be financially harmed because the state would have to use public funds to administer driver's licenses to people who would get relief under the executive action.

Court watchers are speculating about whether this part of the decision may be weakened by another case that came down in April 2015 in which the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the state of Mississippi and certain federal immigration agents could not challenge the executive action because they did not have standing, not having shown they would be injured if the action went forward.

In the meantime, seek legal counsel

Resolution of this case could take months, even years. The legal issues are extremely complex and it is understandable that Dreamers and their parents are confused about what legal actions to take. It is critical that these people get sound legal advice from immigration attorneys who are following this case and other related matters and can provide informed direction and assistance.

In Georgia, the immigration lawyers at Taylor Lee & Associates LLC in Norcross represent people in the greater Atlanta metro area in all types of immigration matters, including issues related to DACA, DAPA, deportation, removal, citizenship and more.

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