Martín Batalla Vidal, a resident of New York City and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), recently filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal District Court challenging the reach of the preliminary injunction in United States v. Texas. Vidal is the first to challenge the ruling of United States v. Texas – a case that halted the implementation of President Obama’s 2014 immigration relief initiatives, including DACA and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).
The Obama Administration’s Immigration Initiatives
In 2014, President Obama made an executive order that expanded the DACA program. DACA allows undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S. if they meet certain eligibility requirements. The updated DACA was open to anyone over the age of 15, and protected its recipients from deportation for three years. The Obama Administration also sought to expand immigration initiatives by creating DAPA, which would allow immigrant parents of U.S. citizens to live and work in the country temporarily.
United States v. Texas
In February 2015, Texas Federal Judge Andrew Hanen ruled in favor of 26 states opposing Obama’s immigration initiatives, claiming that the Administration failed to follow necessary steps in creating and changing federal law. Hanen concluded that the immigration policies would be an unfair burden on state budgets.
Following Hanen’s injunction that blocked DAPA and the expansion of DACA, Vidal’s three-year federal work permit was revoked by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Vidal was among 2,600 DACA recipients across the country to have their three-year permits revoked.
Challenging the Anti-Immigration Ruling
Vidal is represented by Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC), along with co-counsel Make the Road New York and the National Immigration Law Center. Vidal hopes that the lawsuit will reinstate Obama’s protections in the State of New York; and if a precedent could be set, across the whole country.
“I just thought it wasn’t fair for myself and millions of other people that a judge somewhere else could affect our lives,” Vidal stated in an interview.
In a statement, Vidal also said, “What we are requesting is that the Texas decision does not affect the application of the immigration relief in states that were not part of that lawsuit and that millions of immigrants who contribute to this country are taken out of the shadows.”
Though a decision on this case is months away, Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who is considering the suit, spoke in favor of Vidal’s position. At a September hearing, Garaufis said, “I have absolutely no intention of simply marching behind in the parade that’s going on out there in Texas, if this person has rights here.” The next hearing is scheduled for January 2017.
If you would like to learn more about the current provisions and requirements of DACA, schedule a consultation with Lyttle Law Firm. Call us at (512) 215-5225 or fill out our contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.