The 5th Circuit and “Immigration”

Recall President Barack Obama’s DAPA program—Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents—which he created by Executive…action…and which allows illegal aliens to register for work, get that work, obtain driver’s licenses, and otherwise avoid the consequences of their illegal entry into the US. Last February a Federal District Judge issued an injunction blocking implementation of DAPA and the creation of government bodies whose purpose would have been that implementation. The injunction was to last until the underlying suit, brought by 26 States, was itself adjudicated.

The 5th Circuit upheld that injunction, ruling in part,

The states have shown that “issuance of the stay will substantially injure” them. A stay would enable DAPA beneficiaries to apply for driver’s licenses and other benefits, and it would be difficult for the states to retract those benefits or recoup their costs even if they won on the merits. That is particularly true in light of the district court’s findings regarding the large number of potential beneficiaries, including at least 500,000 in Texas alone.

But that was the purpose of Obama’s action: to bring these folks in, with actual amnesty (not even the light punishment that too many on the right bleat about being amnesty), permanently.


The government identifies several important interests: it claims a stay would improve public safety and national security, provide humanitarian relief to the family members of citizens and lawful permanent residents, and increase tax revenue for state and local governments. To the contrary, however, and only by way of example, on March 16, 2015, the Attorney General, in opposing a motion to stay removal in an unrelated action, argued to this very panel that “granting a stay of removal…would impede the government’s interest in expeditiously…controlling immigration into the United States.” Presumably, by referring to “the government’s interest,” the United States is referring to “the public interest.”

Presumably, no sarcasm was intended by that last….

Never mind that DoJ has been caught—again—talking out of both sides of its collective mouth.

On the matter of Obama’s infamous “prosecutorial discretion,” the court offered this:

DAPA’s version of deferred action, however, is more than nonenforcement: it is the affirmative act of conferring “lawful presence” on a class of unlawfully present aliens. … “[A]lthough prosecutorial discretion is broad, it is not ‘unfettered.'” Declining to prosecute does not convert an act deemed unlawful by Congress into a lawful one and confer eligibility for benefits based on that new classification.

The court’s ruling can be seen here.

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