The Obama administration announced on Tuesday, February 17th that it will comply with an injunction temporarily blocking its plan to shield millions of people who are in the United States illegally, suspending applications for deferred action. The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) had intended to begin accepting applications from individuals eligible under the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) and new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (“DAPA”) on February 18th.
The injunction came late Monday night as United States District Judge Andrew Hanen in Federal District Court in the Southern District in Texas ruled to block executive actions Obama took late last year to protect millions of undocumented immigrants, including certain parents of U.S. citizens, from deportation. Judge Hanen ruled that the Obama administration had failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, requiring the White House to afford a longer notification and comment period before taking action.
Although the new programs scheduled to go into effect on February 18th are now on hold, the injunction does not affect DACA applicants who remain eligible under the existing DACA program.