Washington, DC October 3, 2016 – The news that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied a rehearing petition in the U.S. v Texas immigration case should focus attention on a pressing legal question: why has Texas Judge Andrew Hanen been able to issue a nationwide hold on DAPA and DACA+? There’s a strong case to be made that Hanen has overstepped his bounds, and a legal challenge is playing out in New York now to test that question.
Martin Jonathan Batalla Vidal, a long-time resident of New York City and DACA beneficiary who has been harmed by Judge Hanen’s injunction against three year work permits, recently filed a challenge asking the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to declare that Hanen’s “nationwide” injunction against DAPA and DACA+ should not apply to immigrants who live outside the 5th Circuit. Read more about this here in a recent Medium post by David Leopold.
As Leopold pointed out both before and after the Supreme Court issued its 4-4 ruling in U.S. v Texas, a deadlock at Supreme Court raised the possibility of judicial chaos emanating from the fact that the Court did not establish a precedent and there are legitimate legal questions about whether Hanen’s nationwide hold should apply outside of the 5th circuit.
Importantly, U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, the judge hearing Vidal’s case in New York, expressed openness to the notion that Hanen’s ruling should not bind his legal options, stating:
“I do not sympathize with the idea that I am hamstrung in dealing with an issue involving individual rights and including the right to go make a living and have a life as an immigrant in the United States. So I don’t know what’s going on out there to Texas on the border but I know what’s going on in New York. And I’m very concerned about it and I have absolutely no intention of simply marching behind in the parade that’s going on out there in Texas, if this person has rights here.”
“More individuals in jurisdictions outside the 5th Circuit – from immigrants affected to attorneys general – should explore challenges against the nationwide scope of Judge Hanen’s ruling,” said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice.
“At the same time, every American who cares about these policies needs to get registered and vote in October and November. The reason we are even here today is that Republicans at all levels are playing politics with people’s lives and the U.S. Supreme Court. We need to send a clear message this election that conduct like that will be punished. We need leaders working to find solutions for our friends and families, not trying to keep them down,” Tramonte continued.
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