STATEMENT: U.S. Court of Appeals Denies Request to Stay Injunction Currently Blocking DAPA and Expanded DACA Implementation

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit dealt a blow to millions of immigrant families across the country who would benefit from the implementation of the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents programs, or DACA and DAPA, respectively. The 5th Circuit denied the U.S. government’s emergency request to stay the preliminary injunction that has stopped the implementation of DAPA and DACA expansion from going into effect. In response to this ruling, Center for American Progress Vice President of Immigration Marshall Fitz released the following statement:

Today’s decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals keeps in effect the preliminary injunction issued by Bush-appointed District Judge Andrew Hanen. Judge Hanen authored a 123-page rambling diatribe en route to blocking the expansion of DACA and the implementation of DAPA but then issued a narrowly tailored ruling about an Administrative Procedure Act violation. The 5th Circuit opinion, rendered by two of the most conservative appellate judges in the country, hews closely to Judge Hanen’s implausible conclusion about Texas’ basis for standing to sue and his faulty factual findings about the existence of discretion. In a strong dissent from the majority ruling, Judge Stephen Higginson argues that under the 5th Circuit’s own case law, this exercise of executive authority should not be reviewable by the courts. His dissent clarifies that the expansion of DACA and the implementation of DAPA should move forward unabated and that it is up to Congress, not the courts, to decide otherwise.

The net result from the legal decisions issued by Bush- and Reagan-appointed judges is that the status quo remains in effect for millions of American families across the country who have been waiting for temporary relief from the debilitating and ubiquitous threat of deportation. This politically motivated lawsuit filed almost exclusively by conservative governors and attorneys general has, for now, achieved its goal: preserving the economic and social instability of millions of individuals, families, and communities across the country. In this judicial venue, their partisan attack on American families has been couched in legal terms, but their message to this community could not be more clear: “We don’t want you here.”

And to deliver that ugly message, they are willing to forgo billions of dollars in economic growth, higher incomes for all Americans, and tens of thousands of jobs created each year. It is a continuing outrage that in the United States of America, activist judges are empowering a political attack to block a policy they don’t like.

Experts are available for comment on this issue. For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Tanya S. Arditi at tarditi@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6258.

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