The Immigration Reform policy put forward by President Obama in 2014, also
known as DAPA – Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, has a
new chance of becoming reality this year since the Supreme Court announced
last week that it would be reviewing the case in the spring session. The
policy could be presented before the highest court in the nation, as early
as April 2016. It is estimated that a decision could be reached as early as June.
If DAPA is finally approved, following all of the hardships it has already
faced, it will still be at the discretion of the incoming president if
the policy would be implemented or discarded. The changes also extend
to an expansion of DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,
a policy already in place thanks to President Obama. DACA offers protection
from removal or deportation to young people who were brought into the
country before they were 16 years of age and have remained here undocumented.
DACA also specifics that one of the requirements for eligibility is a
high school diploma, its equivalent or students currently enrolled and
on track for a high school diploma. Another requirement is a criminal
free record. The individuals already taking advantage of DACA are able
to obtain work authorization, driver’s licenses and a social security number.
DAPA was initially blocked in the federal courts when a judge in Texas
filed an injunction in February 2015 on the basis that the president had
overstepped his authority in issuing the Executive Order on DAPA. Following
that injunction, the White House staff appealed this but did not prevail
last November when the 5
United States Court of Appeals upheld the injunction. Following that defeat,
President Obama’s administration filed the appeal with the United
States Supreme Court, where the case now stand for final decision. The
White House continues to hold that Texas has no standing in opposing the
Executive Order. Texas federal courts however, contend that the issuance
of the work authorization cards and driver’s licenses would cost
the state millions of dollars and therefore, these added expenses provide
them with legal standing, or authority for the appeal.
The issue of immigration being elevated to the Supreme Court continues
to place it at the forefront of the Presidential Campaign for 2016. Republican
hopeful, Donald Trump has taken a harsh stand on the subject, promising
to deport all undocumented individuals from the United States. As strong
as the announcement sounds, not all Republican contenders agree with Trump’s
Republican candidate Marco Rubio, has stated that he would move for the
legalization of many undocumented individuals present in the county. He
joins the ranks of Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders
on this issue, who also believe in putting forth a legalization process
rather than imminent deportation or removal.
Both Republican and Democratic candidates for the President Race this coming
November, will have to address the growing concern surrounding immigration
and proposed reform. Who the nation supports and ultimately elects will
be indicative of the current climate surrounding immigration in the country.