U.S Supreme Court Rules Against Immigration Relief

On June 23, the Supreme Court announced a disappointing 4-4 ruling in U.S. vs Texas, which is the case determining whether President Obama's 2014 immigration relief programs can go into effect. A tied decision from the Supreme Court means that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision is upheld, and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+) programs will not be implemented.

"The Supreme Court decision on DAPA and DACA+ is a blow to both millions of undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and tens of thousands of non-citizens who arrived in the United States as children," said Jessica Greenberg, Staff Attorney at African Services Committee's Immigrant Community Law Center.

"This is a disappointing setback that underscores the need for comprehensive immigration reform."

DAPA and expanded DACA are programs that were announced by President Obama in November 2014 as part of a complex set of policy initiatives that would provide work authorization to certain undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and eligible undocumented individuals who moved to the United States as children.  Neither of these programs led to either Green Cards or citizenship.  Please note that this decision didn’t affect the original DACA program that has been in place since June 2012.


The Supreme Court did not take DAPA or expanded DACA off the table completely.  Rather, the Supreme Court ruled that neither of these programs can be rolled out, if at all, until the underlying lawsuit and its issues are sorted out.  At this time, the status quo remains the same. 


This is disappointing because millions of deserving, undocumented non-citizens have been waiting since November 2014 to benefit from DAPA and expanded DACA, but it isn’t necessarily the end.


It is necessary for undocumented individuals to consult with trustworthy and knowledgeable attorneys.  Studies have found that many non-citizens are unaware of the various laws or programs that they could benefit from.  A survey conducted following the release of the initial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program found that nearly 15 percent of the applicants were eligible for permanent relief – programs that lead to Green Cards.  This is a significant number, and it’s only taken from a small sampling of individuals in comparison to the nearly 12 million undocumented individuals living in the United States. 


“So, if you’re undocumented, do yourself a favor and meet with a trustworthy and knowledgeable attorney.  Best case scenario, you’re eligible for a Green Card.  Worst case scenario, you’re armed with an understanding of immigration law and its various paths to citizenship,” Greenberg said. "The wrong help can be very harmful."


If you need assistance and wish to consult with a licensed attorney at ASC's Immigrant Community Law Center, ICLC, call (212) 222-3882 or visit Please note that we charge $40.00 for a consultation.”