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A federal judge in Texas has issued an injunction against Presiden't Obama's new Deferred Action programs. The injunction will prevent the expansion of the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and will prevent the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program from beginning. Forms for the DACA expansions were scheduled to be released on February 18th, and the new DAPA program was expected to be launched in mid-May. Both programs will now be on hold pending a decision in federal court, or action from Congress, whichever comes first.

The original DACA program was not challenged and remains intact. Curiously, this program was created by executive order on June 15, 2012 but has not been the subject of political ire. Applicants who qualify under the original DACA program may still submit original and renewal applications to receive their work permits. Those who only qualify under the DACA expansion must wait.

It is important to note that these sorts of issues are inevitable as immigration issues become increasingly divisive. The vast majority of legal scholars and professionals agree that President Obama's executive orders on immigration are constitutional and within his legal authority. Therefore, it is very likely that the DAPA and expanded DACA programs will continue in the future. For now, potential applicants should continue to gather any documents they need to apply for the halted programs, and to wait for news that the programs have begun anew. Although the courts and Congress work very slowly, it is expected that these programs will continue in the future.

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