On November 9, the Supreme Court rejected President Barack Obama's immigration plan to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which would have helped millions of undocumented citizens — parents of U.S.-born children — from being deported. The following day President Obama filed an appeal. On January 19, the Supreme Court "agreed to an election-year review of President Obama's executive orders to allow up to 5 million immigrants to 'come out of the shadows' and work legally in the United States." So what does this mean for applicants of DACA, and potential ones seeking Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA)?
The review will consist of the option to undo the "lower court rulings that blocked the plan from taking effect in the midst of a presidential campaign already roiled by the issue." The AP also reports that the case will be argued around April and be decided on by late June.
Although people can apply to the current DACA program that is in place, they cannot apply to the expanded versions just yet.
"We continue to encourage people to have full immigration screenings with trusted attorneys to see if they would qualify for this and any other form of relief," said Lauren Burke, Esq. executive director of Atlas: DIY, a cooperative empowerment center for immigrant youth and their allies. "While individuals can start preparing their paperwork in the hopeful preparation of expanded DACA and DAPA, they should not and can not yet file these applications with USCIS."
Texas is leading 26 states in challenging Obama's immigration plan. "If the justices eventually side with the [Obama] administration, that would leave roughly seven months in Obama’s presidency to implement his plans," The Orange County Register reports.
"Of course if the court does rule that Obama's planned expansion of DACA and creation of DAPA is unconstitutional it could affect original DACA, but I personally believe that will continue to be protected," Burke said. "We hope that SCOTUS will follow our reading of constitutional law and the president's power to better integrate these individuals into American society."
As soon as the news of the Supreme Court's review hit social media, people were clearly hopeful. Check out the tweets below.