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How A Recent Texas District Court Injunction Is Impacting Immigration Reform

Judge issuing a court orderThis is the next post in our series discussing what undocumented Texas residents need to know about current immigration reforms. Our last post discussed when a person with a criminal record should consider applying for DACA or DAPA. In this article we will discuss the recent Texas injunction preventing USCIS to continue processing DACA applications.

The Texas injunction creates a setback in moving forward with DACA and DAPA

In November of 2014, President Obama announced the expansion of the DACA and DAPA programs. Citing Congress’s lack of action, the President used executive action to put his immigration reforms into effect. In December of 2014, Texas and 25 other states sued in Federal Court claiming that the executive action was unconstitutional. The lawsuit is based on Texas’s argument that the executive action attempts to override existing laws, and is therefore, not legal On February 16th, 2015, District Court Judge Hanen ordered an injunction to temporarily halt DACA and DAPA until the lawsuit has made its way through the Court system. On February 23rd, 2015, the US government asked Judge Hanen to lift the injunction while it appeals his ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. As of this article, the injunction is still in place.

Texas immigrants who already have DACA status under the 2012 program may still renew their status

The current injunction only applies to the DAPA program and the DACA expansion. Those who already had DACA status or who were eligible to apply under the 2012 criteria may continue to do so. This includes anyone who was brought to the United States prior to their 16th birthday, has lived in the US continuously, has at least finished their high school or GED degree, and who was under the age of 31 on June 15th, 2012. For everyone else, it is advised to follow the Court proceedings closely as the status could change depending on whether or not the request to lift the injunction is granted.

If you planned on applying for DACA under the expansion plan, or wished to apply for DAPA, it is important to continue to prepare. Contact our Austin, Texas immigration lawyer today for more information and to learn more about how you can submit your application as soon as possible.

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