This week, plans for people to start applying for what would essentially give them legal presence in the U.S. were put on hold because of a Texas judge’s decision. Here are some key things to know about the decision in the lawsuit filed by 26 states that hoped to stop the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Residents, DAPA, from going into effect.
-The decision does not affect applications and renewals under the 2012 DACA program. This program is open to fewer people, but still provides deportation deferrals and work permits to those who qualify.
-The government is NOT taking applications for the new and larger DACA program, which is open to more people than the 2012 program. It had planned to start doing so Wednesday, but the judge’s ruling put all of that on hold.
-The government is fighting the decision and that could mean the programs could start again at any time. People who want to apply should be ready with documents and applications fees.
-The Obama administration has said it will ask a higher court to overturn the ruling. The government could ask for an “emergency stay” that, if granted, would allow the government to start taking applications while the case continues. But the government could just appeal the ruling and that would keep the programs on hold until the appeals court rules. Either side in the lawsuit could appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
-The judge's decision doesn't effect the deportation priorities that the Department of Homeland Security revised last November. That means people who haven't committed crimes, haven't recently crossed the border illegally, aren't public safety or terrorism threats or don't already have orders for deportation are not high priorities for deportation.