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DAPA

Deferred Action Program Would Allow Woman to Visit Her Daughter in Austin

By Peek & Toland on June 1, 2016

There has been a lot of publicity in recent weeks about President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program after a Supreme Court hearing in April.

But very little of the material we have read about the legal arguments relates to how it would affect real people. An article in My Statesman highlights how the impasse over the executive orders is affecting the relationship between a woman from Austin and her mother.

DAPA is Deferred Action for Parents of Americans

Maria Reza is a student at The University of Texas at Austin. She received temporary legal status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the other initiative that was considered by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Texas in April, with a decision likely in June, according to the Huffington Post. You can read more about DACA, here on our Austin immigration attorneys’ website.

My Statesman reported that Reza’s mother lives in Houston. She qualifies for the DAPA program because her younger children were born in the United States. However, her life is dogged by uncertainty ahead of the Supreme Court ruling.

Reza told My Statesman that her mother avoids making a drive of more than 160 miles between Houston and Austin because she’s afraid of being pulled over for a traffic infraction and facing possible deportation if officials find out she is an undocumented immigrant.

Reza said her mother had initially been hopeful about the orders but after more than a year-and-a-half of uncertainty as DAPA became a political battleground, she has started to lose hope.

Deferred Action Would Allow Fort Worth Woman to Start a Business

My Statesman also highlighted the case of Sheridan Aguirre, whose mother started working at a Wendy’s restaurant in Fort Worth in Texas a decade ago to support her family. She earned $8 then. She only earns $11 an hour now.

Her life would be transformed if she was granted legal status through deferred action. It would allow Aguirre’s mother to obtain a work permit, giving her the chance to “fulfill her dream of starting her own business.”

DAPA promises to provide employment eligibility and to give relief from deportation to immigrant parents of U.S. citizens or legal residents on the condition they have not committed offenses. Under the program, they would receive rigorous background checks and must have well-established ties to the United States.

A recent article in Fox News Latino stated Texas, the state that has led the charge against DAPA, would be one of the biggest beneficiaries. The Migration Policy Institute estimates the state’s GDP would increase by more than $38 million a year and DAPA would create an extra 4,800 jobs a year in Texas for the next decade.

The stories of families who would be split apart if their parents are not allowed to stay in the USA highlights the importance of the case that’s currently before the Supreme Court.

Peek & Toland , help people who are facing these painful situations on a regular basis. Our Austin-based immigration attorneys can advise you on the next steps and provide peace of mind. For your convenience, we have set out the latest details of Obama’s immigration reforms here, to help you keep up to date. Call us at (512) 474-4445 for a consultation.

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Why Driver’s License Costs in Texas Are Pivotal in the Immigration Supreme Court Case

By Peek & Toland on May 17, 2016

The cost of driver’s licenses in Texas may appear to be a dull, secondary issue in the pivotal Supreme Court immigration case of United States v. Texas, but it’s likely to be a crucial factor in the case.

Oral arguments were presented last month in a hearing that is one of the most significant immigration cases to come before the nation’s highest court this century and could provide relief to as many as 4 million undocumented immigrants. More than half of the country’s states are opposed to two initiatives that are central to President Obama’s immigration policy, known as DAPA and DACA.

The cost of driver's licenses are key to Texas's case against Obama's immigration policy

The cost of drivers’ licenses is pivotal in U.S v. Texas

  • DAPA is Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. It’s an immigration policy that would give deferred action status to certain classes of undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010 and have children.
  • DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It’s an initiative aimed at non-citizens who arrived in the United States as children and is explained here in more depth by Peek & Toland . Under DACA some people who came to this country when they were young and meet certain guidelines “may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal,” states U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

As the lead plaintiff in this case, Texas must show that the action would hurt it in some way. That’s where driver’s licenses come in.

Texas is arguing it would take a major financial hit when it processes driver’s licenses for immigrants who have an illegal status because their deportation would be deferred under the president’s executive action. The state expects an upsurge in driver’s license applications after granting work authorization to previously undocumented immigrants.

The office of Texas’s attorney general has claimed Obama’s initiative would cause an upsurge in applications for driver’s licenses, making them more costly to issue. Texas must show it suffered a significant degree of “injury” to sue, but there is considerable skepticism about the driver’s license argument amid speculation it is merely a smokescreen to clothe a naked political agenda against immigration.

The state’s arguments were recently undermined by a Reuters article that quoted Bill Beardall, of the University of Texas Law School. Beardall, who is also the executive director of the Equal Justice Center, said the state’s claims are “tenuous.”

Texas claims the additional driver’s licenses would cost $103 million. However, that figure is nearly three times what Texas currently budgets every year for all driver’s licenses to 27 million people, Reuters reported.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, states:

“Texas is engaging in legal obfuscation they hope others won’t notice. First, having work authorization wouldn’t make those with DAPA or DACA eligible for licenses. It’s having received deferred action that allows immigrants to apply for and become tested, licensed, and insured drivers.”

It remains to be seen if the judges will issue a decision based on the case’s merits. A decision is likely in June and there is speculation that the Supreme Court will be split. Many of last months’ arguments concerned whether the states have standing to sue over the executive orders in the first place which is why the seemingly obscure arguments about driving licenses in Texas could prove to be so important. To find out more about the immigration reforms,

If you are affected by DAPA or DACA, it’s natural that you will be experiencing a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. Our Austin immigration attorneys can help you understand the process and to find out about more about the process of securing legal status in the U.S. Contact us at (512) 474-4445.

 

Posted in Deferred Action

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