Senator Collins’ compromise to DHS funding billSenator Susan Collins of Maine has proposed a compromise in the fight over DHS funding. The amendment would allow funding of the original Obama Executive Action for children (DACA I) but not provide funding for those initiated by Obama in November of 2014 (DACA II, and DAPA). The question is whether this change could result in passage by 60 votes in the Senate, and by 67 in the event of an Obama veto. Both sides should consider whether any or all of these Executive Actions by Obama will pass Judicial scrutiny. DACA I proscribed “Deferred Action” and employment authorization for a very limited subset of undocumented aliens in the U.S.. To be eligible, the alien was required to establish: 1) Entry into the U.S. prior to reaching age 16; having enrolled in School or in military service, and no older than 30 at the time of application. Estimates are that this would result in 600,000 recipients of the program.
Expanded DACA (Available Feb. 18, 2015) and New DAPA Program
DACA II, from Obama’s Action on November of last year, has removed the upper age barrier, so that the current age of the applicant is no longer a factor, so long as an entry was made prior to reaching age 16. The new program DAPA, for parents of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (Green card) children has not yet been implemented. This program requires only that an undocumented alien have the requisite child in the U.S., have been present in the U.S. for at least 5 years, and are not in a class of high priority aliens for removal from the U.S.. (no significant criminal record, or prior immigration abuse)
While DACA I created a small loophole for select minors, DACA II and DAPA is much more expansive and is focused on a much wider cross-section of the undocumented population. The question is whether these latest Actions by the President will strain a Court’s ability to extend Judicial deference to the Executive for implementation of Immigration laws.
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