'Old telephone' found at https://flic.kr/p/4cRwCm by macinate (https://flickr.com/people/macinate) used under Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
'Old telephone' found at https://flic.kr/p/4cRwCm by macinate (https://flickr.com/people/macinate) used under Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
'Old telephone' found at https://flic.kr/p/4cRwCm by macinate (https://flickr.com/people/macinate) used under Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
February 18, 2015 was supposed to mark the implementation of one of the first phases of President Obama's Executive Action on immigration, as the newly-expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was slated to go into effect.  However, late in the evening of February 16, 2015, a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas issued a 123-page order which effectively prevents the law from going into effect.  The judge was ruling on a lawsuit brought by Texas and twenty-four other states, presenting a number of legal claims, including that the suing states would be harmed economically by the President's plan, that the plan violates federal administrative law requirements, and that it exceeds executive constitutional authority. 

Many legal experts expect the Texas judge's ruling to be overturned, but the big question at the moment is how long that will take, and what that means for the timing of the implementation of DACA and other provisions of Executive Action on immigration. For its part, the federal government has announced that it will appeal, which will likely involve a request to temporarily halt the judge's decision. If the Court of Appeals were to grant that request, then the law could go forward.

However, for now, USCIS is not accepting any applications under the expanded DACA provisions.  In addition, the much-anticipated May 18, 2015 launch date for the portion of law known as Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) is currently on hold, as are other provisions of the announced initiative.

For those readers seeking to obtain relief under any part of Executive Action, be aware that applications cannot yet be filed, and that any applications sent to USCIS will be rejected as premature.  Therefore, be careful about lawyers, notarios, or other individuals pressuring you to pay fees in order to submit something right away.   Paying a professional for his or her opinion and an assessment of one's options is one thing; paying to prepare an application which cannot be filed, however, is quite another.  Our best advice for the time being is to remain patient, and continue to collect the materials necessary to support any application once the filing window opens.

We will continue to post updates as events unfold.

As always, we are available to meet to answer questions or clear up any confusion.  Contact one of our attorneys via info@immigsolutions.com, or use our contact page by clicking here.