This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending Feb. 20


Week Ending February 20

This week in immigration: a District Judge temporarily halts the implementation of new administrative relief programs and the federal government will appeal; advocates continue to help individuals and families prepare to apply for relief; and a webinar next week will provide updates on implementation. NCLR kept the community informed on immigration with staff quoted in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Hill, and Univision, among others.

District judge temporarily blocks implementation of expansion of DACA and DAPA programs; federal government will appeal: This week a judge in Texas issued an order that temporarily blocks implementation of expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents). This does not affect the DACA guidelines that were announced in 2012 and individuals who are eligible under those guidelines can continue to apply. “We disagree with the court’s decision and believe a higher court will reaffirm the legitimacy of administrative relief, siding with countless legal scholars that the president was well within his authority to act,” said Janet Murguía. See the press release here.

The federal government responded quickly to the decision with statements from President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Johnson stating that they disagreed with the decision and the federal government would appeal. The Department of Justice will seek a stay asking the court to allow the programs to move forward while the administration pursues an appeal. Stay tuned to NCLR for updates.

Upcoming webinar: The Committee for Immigration Reform Implementation (CIRI) is hosting a free webinar, “Administrative Relief Update,” on Friday February 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm Eastern / 2:00 pm Central / 1:00 pm Mountain / 12:00 pm Pacific. This webinar will discuss the lawsuit and Texas district court order to stop implementation of expanded DACA and DAPA; and how organizations and the community can respond. The panel will cover:

– The process, timing and implications for the lawsuit;
– Community education and helping our clients prepare for the future; and,
– Strategies for practitioners with potentially eligible clients who are in detention or proceedings.

To register, visit

NCLR Affiliates and allies continue to help individuals prepare to come forward to apply for expanded DACA and DAPA: Despite the ruling from the District Court Judge, organizations across the country continued to hold information sessions and workshops this week to help individuals get ready to apply for expanded DACA and DAPA.  For example, NCLR Affiliate, TODEC, hosted a workshop in Perris, California. NCLR staff and NCLR Board Member Mary Alice Cisneros attended a press conference in San Antonio with Representatives Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) encouraging the community to use this time to continue to gather the necessary documents to come forward and apply for expanded DACA and DAPA.

Coming up next week: We have been following closely the ongoing debate in Congress over funding the Department of Homeland (the agency is currently funded through February 27).  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is planning to have a fourth vote on the House passed legislation that includes measures blocking DACA and DAPA.  It is expected that this vote will also fail and all the Democrats will oppose the bill.

Also next week, President Obama will be at a town hall event to discuss immigration in Miami on Wednesday held at Florida International University led by Telemundo and MSNBC host José Díaz-Balart.

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