Homeland Security rescinds Obama's DAPA program

The Department of Homeland Security has rescinded DAPA, which protected illegal alien parents with U.S. citizen or permanent resident children from deportation.

In a press release Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security said it was ending the program "because there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy."

DAPA, which stands for "Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents" and sometimes called "Deferred Action for Parental Accountability," was created in 2014 under former President Obama, which would have allowed undocumented parents of citizens and legal residents to remain in the country for three years. 

However, the plan was never implemented.   It was later blocked by a federal judge in Texas after 26 states filed suit against the federal government and challenged the effort's legality. Republicans decried the effort at "backdoor amnesty" and argued that Obama overstepped his authority by protecting a specific class of immigrants living in the United States illegally.

The protection program for parents, like the one for young immigrants, was created with a policy memo during the Obama administration. Both programs required that participants meet certain conditions, including not having a criminal history. As part of the expansion to protect immigrant parents living in the United States illegally, the Obama administration also sought to provide the young immigrants with work permits good for three years at a time. That provision was also blocked by the Texas judge.

Read the full press release by Homeland Security:

On June 15, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, after consulting with the Attorney General, signed a memorandum rescinding the November 20, 2014 memorandum that created the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents ("DAPA") because there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy.

The rescinded memo purported to provide a path for illegal aliens with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child to be considered for deferred action.  To be considered for deferred action, an alien was required to satisfy six criteria:

(1) as of November 20, 2014, be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;

(2) have continuously resided here since before January 1, 2010;

(3) have been physically present here on November 20, 2014, and when applying for relief;

(4) have no lawful immigration status on that date;

(5) not fall within the Secretary's enforcement priorities; and

(6) "present no other factors that, in the exercise of discretion, make  the grant of deferred action inappropriate."

Prior to implementation of DAPA, twenty-six states challenged the policies established in the DAPA memorandum in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The district court enjoined implementation of the DAPA memorandum, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision, and the Supreme Court allowed the district court's injunction to remain in place.

The rescinded policy also provided expanded work authorization for recipients under the DACA program for three years versus two years.  This policy was also enjoined nationwide and has now been rescinded.

The June 15, 2012 memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will remain in effect.

 

 

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