Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA for short, has been shut down and perhaps permanently derailed due to a 4-4 even split decision coming from the Supreme Court. The ruling came after Texas initiated a challenge, which was then picked up by another 25 states, to the Obama Administration’s plans to reform immigration laws and rules across the country. The President called the split ruling “heartbreaking” while opponents of DAPA, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, claimed that it was “[…] a win for Congress.”
President Barack Obama and his Administration have been pushing for major immigration reform since 2014 with the announcement of DAPA, which would effectively replace and expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DAPA would have issued temporary relief to millions of illegal immigrants by categorizing them as a “low deportation priority” and giving them about three years to apply for work authorization or residency without the fear of being deported.
An even split from the Supreme Court is not possible under normal circumstances, as the court would have 9 seats. With the passing of Justice Scalia in February and consistent GOP efforts to prevent his seat being filled, this ruling came with an even number of seats. President Obama remarked that millions of immigrant lives were affected by this decision solely because Congress would not assign his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, to the bench.
What Happens Next for DAPA?
The 4-4 tie vote has seriously burdened DAPA’s chances of success but it did not guarantee its total dismantling. The proposal will remain on the table but it will be up to the next President of the United States to decide if they want to defend it or not. The assumption is that if a Democrat wins the Presidential race, DAPA could continue, but a Republican President would abandon it outright. Furthermore, it should be noted that DACA, which was established in 2012, remains unchanged.
For more information regarding immigration news and immigration law, contact Akula & Associates P.C. Our Dallas immigration attorneys are entirely dedicated to helping immigrants and nonresidents understand and protect their rights. Call us today for details regarding our services.