DAPA and DACA: What to Do Now after the Federal Court’s Injunction on February 16, 2015


President Obama’s Executive Action of November 20, 2014 announcing the extension and expansion of DACA for “Dream Act Kids” and the creation of DAPA, Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, gave many Dream Act kids and the parents of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents something they hadn’t felt for a long time: Hope. that hope was dashed on February 16, 2015, when the federal court in Texas issued an injunction, an order stopping the new expanded rules for DACA, which were due to take effect on February 18, 2015, and DAPA, which was due to take effect sometime in May of 2015, from happening because the court in Brownsville, Texas felt that the President lacked the authority to issue this order in the way that he did.

So, the big question in the community is: What do we do now? Do we stop preparing and give up hope? The answer is a resounding “NO”! Legal scholars (and not just immigration attorneys!) firmly believe that once this legal case moves through the courts, the courts will find that the President had and continues to have the power to issue an Executive Order giving temporary legal status to DACA kids and to the parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents ( “green card holders”) who entered the U.S. on or before January 10, 2010, who have been continuously present in the U.S. since such time and who are not criminals or individuals with deportation histories that don’t allow them to apply for this “status”.

Q: Okay, does this mean that I can file a new DACA application or renew my old application?
A: Yes, but only if you fall under the old rules ( were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, came to the U.S. before reaching your 16th birthday, are currently 16 years of age or over, unless you are in deportation proceedings and then you can be 15 years of age, have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a GED certificate or an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. military and have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three misdemeanors or more and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.)