What just happened in the 5th Circuit? The U.S. Court of Appeals formally upheld Judge Hanen’s injunction prohibiting the administration for implementing DAPA & DACA. The injunction prohibited the administration from implementing DAPA and expanded DACA until the litigation brought by Texas and twenty six other states was resolved. Injunctions are sought to preserve the status quo while the legality or proposed actions is resolved. Judge Hanen ruled that Texas presented evidence of the possible injury if DAPA or DACA went forward and that Texas was likely to succeed in challenging DAPA and expanded DACA.
The Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in a 2-1 decision refused the Obama administration’s request for an emergency stay of Judge Andrew Hanen’s injunction against the President’s deferred action (DAPA and DACA+). This action leaves the stay in place, meaning that the administration remains unable to proceed with DAPA and DACA relief to millions of immigrants. Two judges of the 5th Circuit found that the Obama administration was “unlikely to succeed” in establishing that Texas and the other 25 states lack a sufficient injury, or “standing,” to challenge the President’s actions in creating DAPA and DACA+.
Oral arguments in federal court generate lots of light, but very little heat. One thing every appellate lawyer knows is not to predict the outcome of a case based upon oral arguments. The better legal reporters also understand that. Unfortunately, that maxim was not in display in the reporting surrounding the argument on April 17 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit over the government’s motion to lift Judge Andrew Hanen’s DAPA and DACA injunction.
Don’t be too alarmed by news that Judge Hanen refused to lift his stay on DAPA and expanded DACA. Headlines today blaze that the “Judge” has ruled again the administration. With the interest in the appeal of Judge Hanen’s injunction now (and still) pending before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, there can be no doubt that the headlines have caused confusion and consternation rather than clarity.
It has been a whirlwind month for immigration as this country continues on its indecisive course on immigration law and policy. We try to make sense of the goings-on: What is the status of Judge Hanen’s ruling? As you recall, on February 16, 2015, Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court of Brownsville, Texas issued a nationwide injunction stopping the Obama administration from implementing executive action reforms, DAPA and expanded DACA.
The Texas judge’s decision to enjoin the government from implementing DAPA and extended DACA has brought the administration’s executive action program to a screeching halt just as thousands were getting ready to file for extended DACA today, February 18, 2015. Instead, people are trying to unearth the procedures for seeking a “stay of the stay” at the Fifth Circuit. Media reports have already surfaced that the administration will not seek emergency review of the stay, raising the specter that the entire executive action program will be on hold for many months.
First thing to know about the decision of the Texas judge who decided that DAPA and expanded DACA were illegal- DON’T PANIC! Keep collecting documents. This is a bump in the road, but is by no means final. What happened yesterday? A Texas judge granted a preliminary injunction to 26 states who sued the Obama administration over the executive action program. This has the effect of temporarily suspending the government’s implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA.