Feds Ask Supreme Court to Lift Injunction on DAPA and Expanded DACA Programs

On November 20, 2015, the Obama administration petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments related to an injunction issued by an appellate court in Texas v. United States that is halting the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Background on DAPA and DACA

The DACA program was created in 2012 to provide certain foreign nationals, who were brought to the United States as children and who were in the country without lawful status, the ability to temporarily remain in the U.S. and obtain work authorization. In 2014, President Obama issued an executive order to expand eligibility for DACA and to implement the DAPA program, which would provide similar immigration benefits to certain parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. In February 2015, a federal district court issued an injunction that is preventing DAPA and the expanded version of DACA from being implemented. The injunction was subsequently upheld by a federal circuit court. More detail on this lawsuit is available in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Legal Challenge Puts Hold on DAPA and Expanded DACA Programs (09.Mar.2015).

Supreme Court Not Required to Take Case on Appeal

Some 10,000 petitions are filed each year asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant a writ of certiorari – that is, to agree to review a lower court’s decision. The Supreme Court typically agrees to fully review only about 75 to 80 of these cases each year. If the court refuses to hear a case, this generally leaves the lower court’s ruling in place. It normally takes about six weeks for the Supreme Court to decide whether to grant certiorari.

In this case, if the Supreme Court refuses to grant certiorari, the injunction will remain in place while the lawsuit proceeds. On the other hand, if the court agrees to hear the case on appeal, the Supreme Court will have the final say as to whether the injunction should be lifted.


This court case not only has bearing on the potential beneficiaries of DAPA/DACA, but also could help to establish the limits of presidential power with regard to U.S. immigration policy. MurthyDotCom will continue to track this story closely and provide updates as more information becomes available.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.