President Obama’s executive order from November 2014 has just received another legal setback.  A three judge panel from the Fifth Circuit in Texas v. United States voted 2 to 1 against the Obama Administration.   This allows the injunction of a Texas district court, which prevents the executive order going into effect remain in place.

As you may remember, President Obama’s executive order, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA),  had stated that the administration would use it’s discretion in not deporting certain individuals.  By qualifying for DAPA deportation would be merely deferred; no permanent legal status would be granted.

In order to qualify for DAPA a person would need to meet the following requirements: Must have been in the U.S. for at least 5 years; must have at least 1 child who is either a U.S. citizen or a legal resident; must register for the program; pass a criminal background test; and pay taxes.  Those who would qualify would be eligible to work.

In defending DAPA, the Obama Administration said that it was using its legal authority under the law to decide on who to deport.  They said that the government should concentrate on deporting dangerous individuals and not those raising children who have legal status and aren’t a danger to society.  The administration wanted to make such individuals tax paying members of society.

The position of Texas and the other 25 states that joined it in Texas v. United States was that if this executive order was carried out that it would cost those states additional money and that the Obama Administration had exceeded its legal authority in DAPA.

Since many of the judges in the Fifth Circuit were appointed by Republicans the decision of the Fifth Circuit to decide in favor of Texas has widely been expected.

The Obama administration has announced that it plans on asking the Supreme Court to take this matter up for consideration and decision.  There is not much time to get this before the Supreme Court so that it can be decided during the current term.

Even if the Supreme Court does accept this case and decides in favor of the President it would allow only several months for the executive order to be carried out.  If the Supreme Court refuses to accept the case the preliminary injunction would stand and the matter will be then decided in by the full Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

No matter how this matter is decided, due to the delays imposed by the injunction, President’ Obama’s DAPA program will have limited effect on the millions that it was meant to benefit.  When the new president is sworn in on January 20, 2017, since DAPA is only an executive order, that president would be under no legal obligation to continue DAPA, even if the courts decide in favor of President Obama.