Supreme Court Non-Decision Maintains Lower Court's Block on DAPA and Expanded DACA Initiatives

June 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 4-4 non-decision, failed to act on President Obama's executive actions on immigration. Today's ruling creates no new law and does not decide whether DAPA and Expanded DACA are legal. Instead, it leaves in place a lower court block of the initiatives pending further litigation. As a result, the Jane Does, three undocumented Texas mothers who entered the case to defend the initiatives, will be unable to apply for temporary protection from removal. The Jane Does are represented by MALDEF, which argued in the appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court in April.

Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would temporarily protect parents of U.S. citizen and permanent resident children, as well as certain young adults, from removal and permit them to work.

"In the surest indication that the United States Senate majority's refusal to do its job by confirming a ninth Supreme Court justice has very real and damaging consequences, an evenly divided Court today upheld the Fifth Circuit's poorly-reasoned decision affirming Judge Andrew Hanen's preliminary injunction against Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)," stated MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz. "This is, however, a temporary setback. Justice and righteousness will ultimately prevail. We are proud of the courage of our three clients, the three Texas mothers who are the only non-institutional parties in the case, and we will continue to work in the courts on their behalf and on behalf of millions of others to defend the President's authority to treat eligible immigrants uniformly, and with dignity and respect, through DAPA and DACA."

Today's decision does not affect the 2012 DACA initiative which was not challenged in the case and remains in effect.

"We will continue the legal fight, alongside our clients who are three brave Texas mothers who stepped forward to join the case and defend DAPA and expanded DACA. The case will move forward in the courts, and DACA 2012 remains in effect," stated Nina Perales, MALDEF Vice President of Litigation.

The firms of O'Melveny and Myers and DLA Piper joined MALDEF in representing the intervening Jane Doe defendants in United States v. Texas.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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