President Obama’s latest executive actions on immigration will remain on hold after a federal appeals court refused to lift an injunction on the two executive orders.
The first order would have implemented Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). The plan would allow parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and apply for work authorization for three years provided they have resided in the US continuously for the past five years and pass a background check. The second order would have expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to include childhood arrivals who were 31 years of age or older when DACA was initially announced, as well as extending the period of work authorization under DACA from two years to three years. DAPA was scheduled to take effect in February, while the DACA expansion was scheduled to take effect this month. Combined, the plans would affect an estimated 4.7 million undocumented immigrants.
Twenty six states filed suit challenging the executive orders as an unconstitutional overreach of presidential power, and a US district judge issued the injunction in February when he sided with the states in the suit. The injunction is now likely to remain in place for the duration of the federal government’s appeal. The court ruling does not affect the existing DACA program, which will continue to accept requests and issue deferred action and work authorization.