The Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program that President Barack Obama announced in November 2014 still has not gone into effect due to a temporary injunction imposed by a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas. The program’s legality, which was supposed to take effect in May 2015, is now being litigated in U.S. district judge Andrew Hanen’s court in Brownsville, Texas. The state of Texas is the party that filed the lawsuit against the federal government, claiming that it was harmed by the program because it will have to spend $26 million issuing new driver’s licenses to applicants that qualify for the program and obtain a work permit. Judge Hanen’s injunction has been appealed by the US government to the 5th circuit court of appeals, where the case is currently awaiting a decision any day now that should rule on whether Judge Hanen’s injunction was legal or not. If the injunction is overturned, the USCIS will probably start accepting applications before the end of 2015. If, however, the injunction is upheld, I don’t know what the federal government is going to do next to try to get the program passed.
From the news articles I have read, my guess is that the injunction will not be overturned and then the federal government will have to decide whether to take the case to the US Supreme Court and try to get them to overturn the injunction or whether to try to pass a new, different type of Deferred Action program that will not be overturned in court. If President Obama decides to do this, it will probably not take effect until sometime next year because of the time it takes to create a new program.
But whatever happens, I still believe it is just a matter of time until some kind of program takes effect that provides parents of US citizens protection from deportation, a work permit, a social security number, and a driver’s license.
Anyone that thinks they are going to be able to benefit from the DAPA program or a similar one that may get passed next year can start saving paperwork from the past few years to prove that they have lived here for the last few years. You will probably need to provide 2-5 receipts, bills, or other papers from each year from 2009 to now. You will probably also need a valid photo ID, so get a consular ID card (matricula) or passport. The rest of the requirements will be announced when the program get announced, so wait until the program is announced to find out the other requirements.
DO NOT GIVE ANY MONEY TO ANY LAWYER YET. Some lawyers were accepting deposits on the DAPA program because they thought it would start in May, but now that it is postponed indefinitely, most of those lawyers are not as willing to give the money back. I am not taking any deposits right now, but I am taking down people’s contact information so I can call them once the program starts. If anyone wants to be on my call back list, please give me a call at 512-912-7771. I think that by this time next year (August 2016), some kind of deferred action program will be up and running.