Every day I get questions regarding the DACA/DAPA court battle, that halted the Obama administration from moving forward with a plan to grant deportation relief to millions of undocumented immigrants and their families. Is it already over? Did the Obama administration lose? When can we expect the programs to actually go into effect?
While many of those questions are still up in the air, I would like to take the opportunity to bring you up to speed on what is happening now, and what this could mean for the 4 million immigrants whose lives hang in the balance.
For now, here are a few things you should know.
The battle is NOT over!
With all of the varying media headlines, it can be difficult for many out there to figure out just what the heck is happening. Some media outlets make the victory seem swift and sure, while others paint a picture that the case is already lost.
So, to be clear, as of today, the case is still ongoing. Neither the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals or the Texas federal judge have made any final decision regarding whether or not they will ultimately allow the Obama administration to move forward with the proposed plan.
In fact, the only thing that has been decided as of now, is that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals did not grant the Obama administration an “Emergency stay of the injunction,” which would have allowed the Obama administration to move forward with the programs now, while they wait on the final outcome of the case.
Instead the 5th Circuit decided to hear the arguments from both sides as to whether or not they should overrule the Texas Judge Hanen’s decision to issue the injunction in the first place, which put the deportation relief programs on hold, or whether they should leave the injunction in place until he makes a decision on the main case.
If you are finding this confusing, that is perfectly understandable, just keep in mind that this case is composed of many moving parts; however, the Obama administration has shown that it is determined to keep up the fight until the end!
Two of the three judges who voted against the Obama administration in May will once again join the panel to decide on whether or not to grant the appeal.
Judges Jennifer Walker Elrod and Jerry Smith, both Republican appointees, were assigned to the three judge panel that will hear the oral arguments before the 5th Circuit Court on July 10, 2015.
Their selection came as a blow to many immigration proponents, who were expecting a panel of three different judges to make a decision on the broader legal case. This does not bode well for the Obama administration and suggests that the administration will not have much luck gaining an early victory with the 5th Circuit, already one of the most conservative courts in the country.
Depending on how the 5th Circuit rules on appeal, it could take even longer to find out the final outcome for the 2015 DACA/DAPA programs. Worst case scenario we may even have to wait years for the Supreme Court to make the final decision.
And this, leaves many of us, wishing, hoping, and waiting to see what will happen next.