On February 16, 2015, just two days before the new expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Expanded DACA) program was to begin, a U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction temporarily halting Expanded DACA, as well as the planned Deferred Action for Parents of American citizens and permanent residents (DAPA) program.  Announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014, the new DAPA program will permit qualified non-citizens who have been in the United States for at least 5 years, who do not have a serious criminal record, and who are parents of US citizens or permanent residents, to obtain employment authorization.  Similarly, the expanded DACA program will permit non-citizens who were brought to the United States prior to their 16th birthday, who have been in the United States since at least January 1, 2010, and who have graduated from high school, earned a GED, or are otherwise attending school, to obtain temporary employment authorization.  These programs will assist millions of hardworking people in the United States.

In opposition to these programs, 26 states, including Texas, sued the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to stop implementation of DAPA and Expanded DACA.  The preliminary injunction entered by the Court in Texas is NOT a final decision on whether the new programs are legal or within the President’s authority to initiate.  Rather, the Court decided that because of the importance of the issue and the potential cost to the State of Texas to issue driver’s licenses to beneficiaries of the program, DAPA and expanded DACA should not begin until after the Court decides the lawsuit.  In response, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will appeal the Court’s ruling.  So, for the moment, the new DAPA and extended DACA programs are on hold.

To read the actual decision of the Court, please click:  State of Texas v. USA