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DAPA Program Goes Back to Court

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on November 08, 2016

A recent Supreme Court vote halted the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DAPA), which would de
fer deportation for more than four million immigrants. There are currently 280,000 immigrants who live in Illinois. Many have contacted the best immigration lawyer Chicago about the impact of the Supreme Court decision on their immigration status.

DACA and DAPA Programs


In June 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, (DACA) was introduced by President Obama. It originally allowed exemption from deportation and a renewable 2-year work permit for  illegal and undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday and prior to June 2007. To date, approximately 640,000 undocumented youth have taken advantage of this program which has allowed them to get legal work, state driver’s licenses, credit cards, and bank accounts. It has also allowed them to pay taxes on a legal income.

The best immigration lawyer Chicago can confirm eligibility requirements :

  • Arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16
  • At least 15 years old to apply and under age 31 on June 15, 2012. If an applicant is 31 years of age or older as of June 15, 2012, they are not eligible for DACA.
  • Lawful visa status expired before June 15, 2012, or entered the U.S. without inspection
  • Lived in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present
  • Present in the U.S. at the time of the DACA application
  • Currently enrolled in school, or a high school graduate, or obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the armed forces or the Coast Guard

In addition to the above requirements, Homeland Security requires that all candidates must have never been convicted of a major misdemeanor or a felony offense, and do not pose a threat to public safety or national security.

In 2014, DACA requirements were changed to include illegal immigrants who entered the U.S.  before 2010. It also eliminated the under 31 age requirement.


In November 2014, Deferred Action for Parenthood Accountability (DAPA), was introduced President Obama. It grants deferred action status to some undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010 and have children who are either American citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States. This new extension could impact between five and six million individuals.

Eligible individuals must have been in the United States since November 2014 without holding lawful immigration status; never have been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor; and must not pose a threat to national security. The “deferred action” only allows exemption from deportation and a 3-year renewable work permit. It does not allow or equal full legal status. For Illinois immigrants, the best immigration lawyer Chicago can explain complete details of the DACA and DAPA programs.

DACA and DAPA Programs Halted

In April, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the Deferred Action Programs in the case, United States v. Texas. When President Obama announced he was using his executive authority to expand Deferred Action, it prompted litigation by a number of states. The U.S. president has legal authority to enforce immigration law with Deferred Action. For the last 50 years, every U.S. President has granted temporary immigration relief.

In United States v. Texas, Texas and 25 other states sued based on the alleged financial impact of the Deferred Action Programs. They expressed concerns about handling a large number of individuals who would be eligible for a driver’s license and the cost of driver’s licenses to the states. In April, The 5th Circuit court upheld the original court’s decision to agree with Texas.

In June, 2016, The U.S. Supreme Court reached a 4-4 split decision on President Obama’s executive orders for Deferred Action expansions for DACA and DAPA, which would have deferred deportation for more than four million immigrants. Due to the Supreme Court’s vote to halt expansion of the programs, millions of immigrants could face deportation in upcoming years. Undocumented Illinois residents who are impacted by this decision are checking the status of their existing applications with the best immigration lawyer Chicago.

Recent Court Updates

Recently, a first-of-its-kind lawsuit was filed in New York by a DACA recipient who challenged the Supreme Court’s injunction in United States v. Texas. The plaintiff asserts that the injunction is unlawful to thousands of DACA and DAPA recipients who are not party to the Texas case. The plaintiff’s lawsuit points out a legitimate concern. Why should all DACA and DAPA recipients be denied application eligibility under the Texas injunction, particularly those who live outside the states involved in the Texas suit. Pointing to a New York Times article, the NILC noted that about 60 percent of individuals eligible for DACA and DAPA live outside of states involved in the Texas case.