President Obama’s DAPA Executive Action: Ephemeral or Enduring?

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced his executive order on immigration, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”). Controversy immediately ensued. Never before has an executive action deferred deportation of up to five million people, nor has one received such public outrage. Since its announcement, there have been two primary judicial challenges to the executive action: United States v. Juarez-Escobar and Texas v. United States. The latter case investigates whether DAPA’s broad executive discretion is consistent with the congressional intent of various immigration statutes. While the district court in Texas v. United States granted a preliminary injunction on Administrative Procedure Act grounds, the court has not yet addressed whether DAPA violates the Constitution. The weight of the court’s forthcoming decision is undeniable. Given the widespread reach of DAPA and the public controversy surrounding it, the executive action warrants a detailed exploration of its substance and its precarious future.