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Just the Facts

Immigration Fact Checks provide up-to-date information on the most current issues involving immigration today.

Understanding Initial Legal Challenges to Immigration Accountability Executive Action

On November 20 and 21, 2014, President Barack Obama announced a series of administrative reforms of immigration policy, collectively referred to as the Immigration Accountability Executive Action. Central to these reforms is a plan to expand eligibility under the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to create a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program for the parents of U.S citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents who meet certain criteria. Both DACA and DAPA derive from the executive branch’s inherent authority to exercise discretion in the prosecution and enforcement of immigration cases. In both instances, the President has authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to defer for three years the deportation of qualified individuals who pose no threat to the United States in the hope that Congress will finally undertake comprehensive, more permanent immigration reform.

Within hours of the announcement, notorious Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio challenged the President’s plan to defer deportations in a Washington, D.C., federal court. Shortly thereafter, representatives of 17 states filed a similar case in a Brownsville, Texas, federal court. An additional 7 states later joined that case. On the other hand, eleven other states and the District of Columbia have filed a “friend-of-the-court” brief supporting the President’s plan. The Washington, D.C. federal court has already dismissed Sheriff Arpaio’s lawsuit, and the U.S. Government has moved to dismiss the states’ lawsuit as well.

While these cases are more political diatribe than legal argument, and are unlikely to succeed in the long run, understanding the procedural steps and the nature of the arguments helps to put the cases in perspective.

The Lawsuits

Published On: Fri, Dec 19, 2014 | Download File

Special Reports

Our most in-depth publication, Special Reports provide detailed analyses of special topics in U.S. immigration policy.

A Guide to the Immigration Accountability Executive Action

On November 20 and 21, 2014, President Obama announced his “immigration accountability executive action,” which includes a series of measures that are first steps towards common-sense reforms to an outdated immigration system. Read more...

Published On: Mon, Dec 22, 2014 | Download File

Perspectives on Immigration

Perspectives offers fresh ideas and alternative viewpoints on immigration policy from writers inside and outside the immigration debate.

The President’s Discretion, Immigration Enforcement, and the Rule of Law

The President has the legal authority to make a significant number of unauthorized migrants eligible for temporary relief from deportation that would be similar to the relief available under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Read more...

Published On: Tue, Aug 26, 2014 | Download File