American Proscenium

Dabbling in DAPA

In mid-February, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued an injunction enjoining the Obama administration from implementing the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program (DAPA).  Under DAPA, over four million illegal aliens present in the United States would be shielded from deportation and would be eligible to receive work permits, as well as a variety of state and federal benefits.

A lawsuit (Texas, et al. v. United States) brought by 26 states complained that the uncontrolled influx of illegal aliens drains scarce state resources and leads to domestic unrest.  The states further objected that DAPA was not passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, but is a creature of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put into effect via a memorandum promulgated by Secretary Jeh C. Johnson.  The states contended that this action by an agency of the executive department is contrary to the Constitution’s command that the president shall “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” and that the new policy violates certain procedural requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

To have standing, a plaintiff must demonstrate an actual injury traceable to the actions of the defendant.  The states satisfied this requirement easily by showing that they will suffer financial losses if the illegal aliens...

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