The Justice Department will seek an emergency order from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowing the federal government to move forward with the President’s immigration programs while it appeals a Texas federal judge’s ruling halting those programs, according to the New York Times.

The move follows on the heels of Monday’s late night ruling by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen that the president failed to adhere to basic administrative procedures when issuing orders that would have provided sweeping relief to as many as five million undocumented immigrants.

Here’s a quick timeline of what might happen next, courtesy of Vox:

  1. This is a relatively aggressive move by the administration. The court battle over the president’s executive actions will still take a long time, but the stay means that the next phase will happen very quickly.
  2. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will now have to consider the stay. Its ruling could come within days of the filing, but will likely take a few weeks.
  3. The 5th Circuit is one of the country’s most conservative appeals courts, making it more likely that they might side with the lower-court judge and keep the president’s new “deferred action” programs from going into effect.
  4. If that happens, the Obama administration would be expected to appeal to the Supreme Court.
  5. Ultimately, if the administration wins a stay, the deferred-action programs could start back up in only a few weeks.
  6. If the Supreme Court sides with the states, the programs will be frozen for a matter of months or years while the case makes its way through the courts at the usual pace.




DACA DOT protestersAbout 50 young people gathered on a frigid morning outside the offices of the state Department of Transportation in downtown Raleigh today to protest the Department’s obstruction and foot-dragging in the issuance of driver’s licenses to young people who have obtained the right to be lawfully present in the United States under the federal government’s Deferred Action program (DACA).

With chants of “out on the streets and into our cars,” the young people demanded immediate action by the Department to heed a recent opinion from the state’s Attorney General that the issuance of licenses to such applicants is both legal and required. Read More


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has received more than 82,000 applications over the past five weeks from undocumented young people seeking to stay in the U.S. and avoid deportation.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival – also known as DACA – is not a path to citizenship. It does allow for some immigrants who meet specific criteria to receive a waiver that allows them to get a driver’s license and a work-permit for two years.

Lisa Chun with the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project at the NC Justice Center joined us over the weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon to talk about how this initiative is offering undocumented citizens new hope in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.

You can hear a short excerpt of Chun’s interview below or visit the Radio Interview section of the N.C. Policy Watch website to hear her full interview online.

The North Carolina Justice Center is sponsoring a free DACA Application Clinic this Wednesday (September 26th) in Western North Carolina, with additional clinics planned for October and November. (For more information upcoming DACA info-sessions, email or call (919) 675-2409.)

YouTube Preview Image

The immigration debate in the United States has seen some modest, incremental progress in recent months — most notably the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. The Los Angeles Times has a good editorial on this topic over the weekend and we had a post here at The Progressive Pulse last Friday that provides more details for young people who may be eligible.

And then there’s the anti-immigrant crowd. For some time now, two of the noisiest groups in this camp in North Carolina are the groups known as ALIPAC and NC FIRE. Despite giving voice to a lot of incredibly mean-spirited and downright absurd stuff, these groups helped play host recently in Wilmington to a small group of politicians and activists — some of them prominent (Congressman Mike McIntyre) and some of them just narrow-minded and crazy.  You can watch some video of the event by clicking here.

Looks like we still have a ways to go in bridging the gap in this debate.


The NC Justice Center has put together some resources, fact sheets, links and events on the deferred action process for young immigrants, based on the information released by the Department of Homeland Security this past Wednesday, Aug. 15.

On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will not deport young people from the U.S. who meet certain requirements. Those who qualify will be given “deferred action” and will be eligible for work authorization.

Who is eligible?

An individual must prove they meet the following criteria:

  • came to the United States under the age of 16;
  • has continuously resided in the United States for a least 5 years before June 15, 2012 and was present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
  • is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a GED certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  • has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety; and
  • was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.

Find out more by visiting the website here: