A split vote between the eight Supreme Court justices has added to the challenges facing President Obama’s immigration plan. Without a majority vote in favor, it is possible that the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Permanent Residents (DAPA) could be invalidated. The 2014 plan was put into action by the Obama administration without the approval of Congress. A final ruling is due by the end of June and depending upon its outcome, it will likely affect at least 4 million people who may require an Illinois immigration attorney.
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Under DAPA, millions of undocumented immigrants would receive work permits and be safe from deportation. Twenty-five states sued to halt Obama’s immigration actions, because of their stance that the Act was unlawful as it suspended the country’s immigration laws. The suit alleges that states would suffer dramatic and irreparable injuries unless the justices moved to suspend the laws. Illinois and 12 other states and the District of Columbia, have filed briefs in support of Obama’s plan.
What is DAPA?
The intent of DAPA is to prevent families from being torn apart if they are in the United States without documents. To be eligible for protection under DAPA, immigrants must have:
- Lived continuously in the United States since before January 1, 2010.
- A son or daughter that was born in the United States or is a lawful permanent resident as of November 20, 2014.
- No criminal record.
Currently, DAPA protects 700,000 undocumented immigrants that entered the United States as children. It would protect up to 4.3 million adults who are the parents of children that are U.S. citizens. Under DAPA, immigrants would be able to apply for a work permit and become eligible to receive disability, health care and retirement benefits.
Opposition to DAPA
In 2014, Texas sued to block DAPA and the case reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in November 2015. After being blocked by District Judge Andrew Hanen, the 5th Circuit upheld that DAPA should continue. Obama’s administration claims that the lower-court ruling would deny protection to parents who passed a background check.
What Texas and the other opposing states do not recognize is that by deferring action, over $800 million is raised each year, which is provided to state and local governments. As immigrants hide in the shadows, cities are losing $100,000 a day in tax revenue.