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Immigration Law

Is DACA Illegal? A Dallas Court Says, 'Maybe' (UPDATED)

"A court challenge by federal immigration agents seeking to block President Barack Obama’s deferred-deportation initiative will probably succeed, a judge said.  U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Dallas today put off his own decision on whether to grant the request for a preliminary injunction by 10 U.S. Immigration and Customs agents.  He asked both sides to file additional arguments no later than May 6. ...  “The court finds that DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings” when the requirements for deportation under a federal statute are met, O’Connor said today in a 38-page decision, referring to the Department of Homeland Security.  Still, the judge said he can’t decide the case based on the arguments he’s heard so far.  “Accordingly, the court hereby defers ruling on the plaintiffs’ application for preliminary injunction until the parties have submitted additional briefing,” O’Connor said." - Bloomberg News, Apr. 23, 2013. - Crane v. Napolitano, 3:12-cv-03247, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).

[Former INS General Counsel and DHS Deputy General Counsel David A. Martin comments: "I made my case for why these statutory conclusions are wrong in a short piece in the Yale Law Journal Online in December.  The court does not engage the history or agency practice that I recount or the core arguments in my article.  I hope that DOJ will do a more complete job of presenting the full range of arguments in later steps in this proceeding, particularly on appeal.  (Interestingly, the district court is critical of DOJ’s limited presentation of support for some of the central statutory arguments it put forth.) ... My article points out how a ruling of this type will, among other things, probably end a longstanding practice of occasionally paroling emergency personnel into the United States to help cope with a natural disaster; under the court’s reading, such personnel could be paroled only after being charged and incarcerated – not a big inducement for obtaining help from first responders. ... Unless overturned on appeal, this ruling, at a minimum, delivers a big blow to smooth and sensible operation of the DACA program.."]