A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments last Friday in the case brought by the Obama Administration to overturn a lower-court injunction on executive-amnesty implementation. The Capitol Hill newspaper Politico predicted the case may have to be resolved in the Supreme Court since the Administration is likely to lose in the 5th Circuit.
Politico reports that two of the three judges on the panel questioned the legal merits of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans amnesty and extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals amnesty, which could offer work permits to millions of illegal aliens. Judge Jerry Smith said, “It puts them one step ahead in terms of being eligible for lots of potential benefits, whether those are Social Security and Medicare, work authorization, earned income tax credits, and on the state level, drivers’ licenses…Just seems to me that … it really is a lot more than prosecutorial discretion.” Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod said, “It would seem that it would be unlawful to allow other people to have deferred action with work authorization when who gets work authorization is specifically limited to very narrow classes.”
Judge Carolyn Dineen King, who reportedly appeared to side with the Administration, pressed Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller on the question of work permits. “You’re not contesting the aliens’ ability to stay here. They can stay,” King said. “What you don’t want them to be able to do is work.”
Solicitor General Keller said the executive amnesties would have a financial cost to states related to the issuance of drivers’ licenses, as well in the areas of health care and education. He also pointed to a statement Obama made after he announced the executive amnesties - “I just took action to change the law.” Keller said “And that’s what precisely DAPA did. And the reason it did is because without DAPA, there is no statute or rule that allows the executive to grant lawful presence to the 4.3 [million] potential DAPA beneficiaries.”
Politico reports the panel has not set a deadline for delivering it’s final ruling. If it takes several months to rule, the Administration is likely to ask the Supreme Court to take the case. If they accept the case, a ruling might not be released until spring or summer.
Read more in Politico.
Updated: Wed, Oct 11th 2017 @ 3:21pm EDT