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DACA Beneficiary Sues to Exempt N.Y.ers from Injunction Blocking Exec. Amnesty

An illegal immigrant shielded from deportation by the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is challenging the “unlawfully broad” scope of an injunction blocking President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive amnesty programs.

At issue in is the injunction resulting from Texas v. United States, which blocked the Obama Administration from implementing expanded DACA and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

In a lawsuit filed Thursday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, DACA beneficiary Martín Batalla Vidal — represented by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the Make the Road New York (MRNY), and Yale Law School’s Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC) —  seeks to exempt New York residents from the Texas v. United States injunction.

Batalla Vidal is one of the DACA recipients who was erroneously granted a three-year work permit under expanded DACA (as opposed to the two-year work permit acceptable under regular DACA) in advance of the program’s official implementation date. When District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued the preliminary injunction — upheld on appeal —in February 20015 blocking expanded DACA and DAPA, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services revoked Vidal’s three-year work permit and replaced it with the allowable two-year work permit.

“[T]he burden of this injunction is painfully real for Martín and the many others impacted. Filing for a renewal of DACA every two years is costly and time-intensive, and it can prevent people from fulfilling academic and professional goals or taking on other major life steps that require advance planning,” Melissa Keaney, a staff attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, said in a statement.

In addition to attorney’s fees, Batalla Vidal’s lawsuit seeks a court declaration that Texas v. United States injunction does not apply to New York residents, that the government’s revocation of Batalla Vidal’s three-year work permit was “not in accordance with law,” hold the revocation unlawful and order the restoration of Batalla Vidal’s three-year permit.

The injunction ordered in United States v. Texas have been affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and a divided 4-4 Supreme Court.

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