On April 25 we wrote about a federal court case which held Obama’s DREAM policy unlawful, but reserved decision on whether to issue an injunction,Federal Court finds Obama DREAM policy illegal, but may not require actual deportations:

There are many news reports about the preliminary decision issued by Judge Reed O’Connor in the Northern District of Texas in a lawsuit brought by ICE agents challenging the Obama administration’s administrative DREAM provisions which direct Homeland Security not to commence removal proceedings as to people who meet the criteria.

A copy of the decision is embedded at the bottom of this post. Copies of the Amended Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction are at the links.

The news accounts tend to overstate the breadth of the opinion. The ruling related only to the initiation of removal proceedings, and would not require any particular prosecutorial diligence once initiated, since that issue was not before the Court. Thus, assuming the Judge finalizes the ruling, the Obama administration would be required to commence removal proceedings, but absent further challenges, could allow Obama to delay actual deportations.

The Judge reserved decision on the issue of whether injunctive relief was the proper remedy, and requested further briefing.

Since that time, both the plaintiffs and the government have submitted supplemental briefs arguing for and against, respectively, the issuance of an injunction prohibiting the Obama administration from further implementing the policy.

Two private groups have sought to intervene in the case on the side of the government.

The U. Texas-Austin student group University Leadership Institute is devoted to supporting “DREAM” policies allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the country, get in-state tuition, and defer deportation.  ULI also seeks changes in the law to support these goals:

ULI has received extensive training from experienced political consultants on effective communication and messaging.  Our thorough knowledge and new training on messaging and communication has permitted us to more effectively reach out to different communities, including religious groups, businesses, students, activists, and politicians.  Our newly formatted messages have proven to be more effective with the mainstream public and have also allowed us to form coalitions with unlikely allies.

The ULI not only seeks to submit a brief supporting the government position, it and certain individual students who have benefitted from the DREAM policy seek to become defendants in the case, which would allow them a broader participation, as they argue in their Motion to Intervene:

Both the Proposed Individual and Organizational Defendant-Intervenors have a unique interest in the subject matter of this litigation that supports their intervention, or in the alternative, their participation in this case as amici curiae. First, if the DHS Memorandum is enjoined, Proposed Individual Defendant-Intervenors Reséndiz and Canizalez, and members of ULI, will either lose deferred action status or they will be not be able to renew their deferred action status…. They will also likely lose their employment  authorization under the DHS Memo….

An injunction would also significantly impact the Proposed Organizational Defendant-Intervenor, which will be forced to expend additional resources educating members about the effect of the injunction on their applications for deferred action, and whose members’ ability to achieve higher education and civic participation will be greatly impaired if an injunction is entered.

The National Immigrant Justice Center, by contrast, seeks only permission to file an amicus brief.

Many of NIJC’s clients are eligible for asylum, temporary protected status, protection under the Violence Against Women Act, or protection as a victim of human trafficking and other specified offenses. The Court’s tentative interpretation of 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b)(2)(A) would affect  the availability of these forms of relief.

According to the court docket, the parties have until June 26 to respond to the motions to intervene, so a decision on whether to issue an injunction is not likely to come until at least July.

Obama Non-Deportation Policy Case — Crane v Napolitano – Motion to Intervene University Leadership Initiati…


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