By: Joseph G. Cella, Esq.
On April 11, 2016, the Obama Administration filed it’s reply brief in United States v. Texas, the Republican challenge to DAPA and expanded DACA, which will be orally argued before the Supreme Court on April 18th. The Administration’s brief challenges the legal arguments offered by the Republican Plaintiffs, claiming that the brief submitted by Texas is not coherent; does not accurately portray the deferred action guidance under review; and that it’s substantive interpretation of DAPA and expaded DACA is simply wrong. It also “warns” the Supreme Court of the judicial chaos that will likely ensue if Texas is granted standing for this suit.
At the core of the administration’s argument is that the Plaintiff’s assertion that DAPA and DACA confer the right to remain lawfully in the U.S. is simply wrong. It submits that the Texas’ claim that deferred action bestows “lawful presence” on an undocumented immigrants is a “misguided assertion” which grew out of Judge Hanen’s legally unsound opinion blocking DAPA and DACA, and is based upon a “mistaken premise.” Specifically, in it’s brief, the Administration argues:
Respondents are fundamentally wrong to claim
that the Guidance confers on aliens whose presence
Congress has deemed unlawful the right to remain
lawfully in the United States. Aliens covered by the
Guidance, like all aliens afforded deferred action,
are violating the law by remaining in the United
States, are subject to removal proceedings at the
government’s discretion, and gain no defense to
removal….Deferred action itself reflects nothing
more than a judgment that the aliens’ ongoing
presence will be tolerated for a period of time,
based on enforcement priorities and humanitarian
concerns, and work authorization enables them
to support themselves while they remain.
Finally, should the Supreme Court rule in favor of the Obama Administration, DAPA and Expanded DACA will be implemented immediately and will likely have a significant influence on the November elections.