In 2014, It appeared that the Obama administration’s immigration relief initiatives, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (expanded DACA), would provide relief to potentially millions of immigrants nationwide. Under DACA, certain children who had come to the United States as undocumented immigrants prior to their 16th birthday prior to 2007 would receive a renewable work permit and  other benefits. DAPA was intended to provide similar relief for qualifying undocumented parents of American citizens or lawful permanent residents. Concerns about immigration law or your EB-5 visa? Contact a Miami immigration lawyer of Colombo & Hurd.

As most people are aware, the relief promised by both DACA and DAPA was deferred and potentially permanently lost in the 2016 Supreme Court decision U.S. v. Texas. In this matter, the U.S. Supreme Court Justices deadlocked 4-4 and therefore a lower court injunction blocking the implementation of DACA was allowed to stand. While this result was not the worst case scenario, it was a significant blow to the hopes and dreams of undocumented immigrants across the nation.

New Challenge Seeks to Declare Nationwide Immigration Action Block “Unlawfully Broad”

For Dreamers and others who were disheartened by the results of the Supreme Court case, there is hope. Recently, a first of its kind lawsuit, Batalla Vidal v. Baran et al,  was filed in federal court in New York. The matter filed in the Eastern District of New York seeks to exempt New York residents from the scope of the decision in U.S. v. Texas. If the court is receptive to these arguments, the result could be that Dreamers outside of Texas and other states that challenged the law would receive the benefits and relief promised by the Obama administration.

The lawsuit was filed by Martín Batalla Vidal, a New York resident who expected to benefit from the relief provided by DACA. Vidal, who is now 25 years old, came to New York from Mexico when he was just seven years old. Vidal is a student who is studying and training to become a medical assistant. He works while he studies to support his family and education.

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Vidal had applied for a new work permit under DACA. In February 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services approved Batalla Vidal for a three-year work permit under newly issued rules for DACA. However, later that month the federal district court judge in Southern Texas issued his injunction blocking the implementation of DAPA and DACA nationwide. Then in May 2015,  Vidal’s three-year employment authorization was revoked by USCIS. The sole reason provided for the revocation  was the preliminary injunction in announced in Texas v. United States, 86 F. Supp. 3d 591 (S.D. Tex. 2015).

If the Lawsuit Is Successful What Will Happen to DAPA and DACA?

In his complaint, Vidal seeks relief including a court declaration that his three-year work authorization was revoked due to a legal error in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A). Plaintiff also seeks a ruling that the revocation was performed absent “good cause shown” and no other law or statute, including the reasons set forth in 8 C.F.R. § 274a.14, authorized this action. Thus the revocation was performed “without observance of procedure required by law,” in violation of the APA, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(D). Vidal also seeks a ruling y the court stating that “the February 2015 preliminary injunction entered in Texas v. United States does not apply to New York residents such as Mr. Batalla Vidal.”

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If the court is receptive to these arguments and a decision exempting New York Dreamers from the Texas ruling is granted, the matter would likely serve as a precedent to further restrict the scope of the injunction blocking DACA and DAPA. One can easily imagine this precedent being used to permit the relief promised by DACA and DAPA to be provided in states that recognize the value of DACA and DAPA and that are sympathetic to the difficulties faced by undocumented immigrants.

Work with a Strategic Orlando Immigration Attorney

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide updates regarding the status of DACA and DAPA when more information becomes available. If you are concerned about immigration issues, contact Colombo & Hurd today. We can arrange for confidential consultations on the phone, online, or at our Orlando or Miami law offices. Call our firm at 407-478-1111 today.