Texas v. United States: Real Time Repercussions for Immigrant Justice

School children in San Jose Las Flores in the northern Cuchumatanes mountains of Guatemala. (AP Photo/Luis Soto)
School children in San Jose Las Flores in the northern Cuchumatanes mountains of Guatemala. (AP Photo/Luis Soto)

 

In an egregious decision earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for an emergency stay in State of Texas vs. United States of America, thereby preventing implementation of President Obama’s immigration-related executive actions, DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) and expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). The lower court’s decision to block implementation of these initiatives will remain in place while the formal appeal is being decided.

The decision has direct and immediate negative implications for the clients and communities served by the Lawyers’ Committee. Our clients are people like Fernando, a hard-working butcher and father of two American citizens, who has lived in this country for nearly two decades. Fernando would be eligible for DAPA but, because of the Fifth Circuit’s decision, he is currently a deportation priority regardless of the time he has lived here and the impact his lifetime banishment from this country will have on his wife and their U.S. citizen children.

Together, while the Texas case continues on appeal, we will respond to the repercussions of this decision in real time through the Lawyers’ Committee Immigrant Justice Program:

  • Our Immigrant Post-Conviction Relief Project is a new national model helping people prepare for DAPA and DACA by providing DACA and DAPA specific clean record remedies in order to eliminate the over-incarceration of communities of color as a barrier to essential immigration relief.
  • Our legal advocacy on behalf of Unaccompanied Minors and Adults with Children (usually mothers with young children), who entered the U.S. after May 1, 2014 and who are therefore in expedited immigration court proceedings, can secure relief in the form of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), U/T visas (for victims of crime or trafficking), and asylum.
  • Legal representation through our Asylum Program continues to secure many more protections for eligible clients than ever could be obtained through Obama’s executive action.
As we continue these efforts, we will also continue our advocacy in support of DAPA and expanded DACA programs, which can be the only option for relief enabling some of our clients and neighbors to come out of the shadows of second-class citizenship and live without the constant risk of deportation.

 

Stay involved in our pursuit of justice for all by supporting our ongoing work and volunteering to conduct an interview, represent a client, or serve as an interpreter. You can also contact us any time for more information at supportrights@lccr.com.