With a 4-4 Supreme Court deadlock as a looming possibility, with four conservative justices and four liberals seemingly divided along ideological lines, the question that many eligible DAPA and EXPANDED DACA candidates are asking is: What will be the possible immigration consequences of a deadlock? A 4-4 decision would essentially leave in place the Appeals Court ruling that blocks the Executive Order and deny President Obama's chance to revive it while he completes his term in office. It is important to note, however, that should there be a split vote and the lower court's ruling be upheld, it may not be applied nationwide.
Despite some of the discussions and early predictions about a possible deadlock, at the Shulman Law Group, LLC, we believe that clients eligible for DAPA and EXPANDED DACA should not be discouraged because it is too soon to know the final outcome. The Supreme Court's decision will only be rendered in June and there are many nuances and questions that the Justices must tackle in the coming months. The oral arguments might not be indicative of where the judges will ultimately stand and they may work to broker some sort of compromise behind closed doors.
Our immigration lawyers are advising undocumented clients to schedule consultation appointments to discuss other avenues of relief to which they may be entitled and other possible ways to adjust their status in the United States should DAPA and EXPANDED DACA cease to exist as viable programs. It is likewise important to note that even if these programs are not allowed to move forward, should a Democrat be elected as President, there is hope for a push for comprehensive immigration reform, which will help cure many undocumented individuals. Senator Chuck Schumer, a member of the "Gang of Eight" that previously worked hard to craft a comprehensive immigration reform package, stressed that should he officially become the Senate's Democratic leader next Congress, he will make comprehensive immigration reform a “high priority.” Also, it is important to note that Republican Representative Paul Ryan, the new Speaker of the House, has made it known that he is open to considering immigration reform once a new President is elected.