Court Watch – U.S. v. Texas - Immigration case before the U.S. Supreme Court

Photo from the Library of Congress Photos, Prints and Drawings Collection

Since it is Immigration Law Resource Month here at the Harris County Law Library, we thought we would fill you in on one of the more important immigration law cases facing the State of Texas in recent memory. In February 2015, Texas took the lead in the case State of Texas, et al. v. United States of America, et al., in which 26 states sought a preliminary injunction to prevent the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies from executing a DHS program titled “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents” (DAPA). Under DAPA, four to five million undocumented immigrants who met certain criteria would be granted stays in deportation proceedings. After finding that at least one of the plaintiff states could suffer direct damage from DAPA and had Article III standing, the Court moved to the merits of the case, primarily whether the DAPA was constitutional and was legally adopted.  The Court granted the preliminary injunction, holding, among other things, that defendants had enacted a substantive rule without complying with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

After failing to get a stay, the Government appealed the preliminary injunction to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. (Search Doc. No. 15-40238). The Court affirmed the lower court’s order, finding that Texas not only satisfied the injury requirement for Article III standing, but also was likely to succeed on the merits of its APA claims. In January 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari. So far, no date has been set for oral argument, but it is worth keeping an eye on.

If you would like to read more about this case, check out SCOTUSblog for recent discussions or read the amicus briefs found on the website for the National Immigration Law Center.