Good and Bad News for DACA and DAPA

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Advocates received some rare good news last month when the Supreme Court agreed to rule on the constitutionality of President Obama’s program to issue work permits to nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants.

It is now expected that the Supreme Court will issue a decision in late June, after oral arguments. If the court rules in favor of the president, the government could theoretically jump-start the program by the end of the summer.

However, it is much too early to celebrate. Even the Supreme Court approves the controversial DAPA and expanded DACA programs, the millions of potential applicants might face a difficult decision:  Should they rush to apply as soon as possible, or wait until the presidential elections in November.

DAPA and expanded DACA are Executive Actions, not laws.  This is the key issue that the Supreme Court will consider.  Are these programs within the executive powers of the president, or is he overstepping his jurisdiction?

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      In any event, whether the government wins or not, the next president is under no obligation to continue the program. While the Democrats would almost certainly continue the program, every Republican candidate   for president — without exception — has promised to rip up DAPA and expanded DACA if they survive Supreme Court review.

So if the Republicans win,  it would make no sense for undocumented immigrants to provide the government with all the information they need to expedite their deportation.

Assuming that the government wins, the earliest possible start-up date would be just before the presidential elections.  Because immigration is such a hot political issue, it is entirely possible that Obama administration would delay implementation of the programs until after the election.

In any event, the best course of action is follow recommendations made by legal-service organizations to gather identity documents as well as other evidence proving continuous physical presence since at least Jan. 1, 2010, and also proofs  of good moral character.

There has never been an election year such as this, is in which outsiders are threatening to overturn the political establishment.  It’s going to be wild ride — be safe and be sure to fasten your safety belts.

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