Secretary Kelly Rescinds DAPA, But Retains DACA!

Matt Vespa reports on Townhall:

“It’s official. The Department of Homeland Security has rescinded the memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents under the Obama administration. A statement from the department noted that Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly consulted with the attorney general’s office on this subject and was able to sign off a new memorandum ending the DAPA program. The Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) remains in place:

On June 15, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, after consulting with the Attorney General, signed a memorandum rescinding the November 20, 2014 memorandum that created the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) because there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy.
The rescinded memo purported to provide a path for illegal aliens with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child to be considered for deferred action. To be considered for deferred action, an alien was required to satisfy six criteria:
(1) as of November 20, 2014, be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
(2) have continuously resided here since before January 1, 2010;
(3) have been physically present here on November 20, 2014, and when applying for relief;
(4) have no lawful immigration status on that date;
(5) not fall within the Secretary’s enforcement priorities; and
(6) “present no other factors that, in the exercise of discretion, make [ ] the grant of deferred action inappropriate.”
Prior to implementation of DAPA, twenty-six states challenged the policies established in the DAPA memorandum in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The district court enjoined implementation of the DAPA memorandum, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision, and the Supreme Court allowed the district court’s injunction to remain in place.
The rescinded policy also provided expanded work authorization for recipients under the DACA program for three years versus two years. This policy was also enjoined nationwide and has now been rescinded.
The June 15, 2012 memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will remain in effect.”


The formal rescission of DAPA was anticipated. The Obama Administration program never went into effect.  It was immediately enjoined by a US Distict Judge in Texas.  That injunction was upheld by a split Fifth Circuit. The Obama Administration succeeded in obtaining Supreme Court review. However, following the death of Justice Scalia, the Court split 4-4, without issuing an opinion, thereby allowing the injunction to remain in effect. Following the election, the cancellation of DAPA became inevitable.

Ironically, the reasoning of the District Judge and the Fifth Circuit in the DAPA case has been cited by some in support of the so-far successful effort to enjoin Trump’s Travel Ban.

But, the good news here is that for the time being, at least, DACA remains in effect. As I have previously reported, the DHS is approving both new DACA applications and applications for renewal of DACA status.



Supremes Hear Case Today On Cross-Border Application Of U.S. Constitution!

Robert Barnes writes in the Washington Post:

“The gun was fired in the United States. The bullet stopped 60 feet away in Mexico — tragically, in the head of a 15-year-old boy named Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca.

Border patrol agent Jesus Mesa Jr. pulled the trigger that day six years ago in the wide concrete culvert that separates El Paso from Juarez, Mexico. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider whether the Constitution gives Hernández’s parents the right to sue Mesa in American courts for killing their son.

The case comes amid a time of increasing tension and controversy over how this country polices the daily churn along the border, where essential international commerce takes place alongside narcotics trafficking and human smuggling.

Courts have struggled to deal with the national security and foreign policy implications of the case, and the Supreme Court’s precedents.

U.S. Border Patrol agent shoots Mexican teenager near border Play Video0:17
In 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. shot and killed 15-year-old Mexican national Sergio Hernandez while Hernandez was playing in a culvert separating Juarez, Mexico, from El Paso, Tex. A witness recorded the incident on their cell phone. (Outreach Strategists, LLC)
If Hernández had been killed inside the United States, then the case could proceed. Or if he had been a U.S. citizen, it would not have mattered that Mesa was on one side of the border and he was on the other.

But the courts so far in Hernández’s case have said the Constitution does not reach across the border — even 60 feet — to give rights to those without a previous connection to the United States.”


The case is Hernandez v. Mesa, and either way the Court decides, it’s likely to play an important role in the effort to enhance U.S. border enforcement.



Fifth Circuit Says CAT “Government Acquiescence” Not Not Limited to “Willful Blindness”

Here’s the full text of the decision IRUEGAS-VALDEZ v. YATES:


Basically, the Fifth Circuit (hardly a pro migrant forum) requires the BIA and the Immigration Judge to follow the Federal Regulations on the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”).

Ever since the CAT became the effective, the BIA and the Attorney General have worked hard to restrict protection based on torture. But, little by little, almost all of the U.S. Courts of Appeals have been chipping away at these overly restrictive interpretations.

Here, the Fifth Circuit points out that in its haste to affirm the Immigration Judge and deny protection, the BIA failed to apply the Executive’s own regulations, which allow for the granting of protection in a significantly larger set of circumstances, particularly where corrupt government officials act “under color of law,” than the Board and the Attorney General have been willing to admit.

Because torture by or with the acquiescence of foreign government officials is widespread in many refugee sending countries, and because the CAT has no specific “nexus” requirement that the torture be tied to any specific “protected ground,” the CAT has the potential to become a much more useful means of gaining needed protection as the law develops. And, because CAT protection does not give individuals “green cards” of put them on the “path to citizenship” (although it usually does provide work authorization), it might be a compromise between returning individuals to countries where their lives would be in danger and creating an incentive for those who seek permanent status in the U.S.

As I used to tell individuals before me who wanted asylum but had to settle for CAT protection, “all it does is save your life.” Depending on how important one considers his or her life, that might significant.