A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked the implementation of the deferred action programs that President Barack Obama announced in November of last year as part of his executive action on immigration.
That means expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would give temporary legal status to hundreds of thousands more immigrants, no will become effective tomorrow, February 18, as scheduled.
It also puts on hold the implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).
Federal Judge Andrew Hanen ruled the block on Monday night, arguing that the Obama administration had failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, which stipulates that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security must provide a longer notice and comment period before acting.
The judge's decision also allows a lawsuit filed by 26 states opposing the implementation of DACA and DAPA to move forward.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will appeal Judge Hanen's order.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he "strongly disagreed with Judge Hanen's decision," but that they will comply with the order pending appeal.
Therefore, Johnson confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security will not begin accepting DACA extension petitions tomorrow, February 18, and that they will suspend until further notice, the plan to accept DAPA petitions.
The Court's order does not affect the existing DACA program.
Individuals who qualify under the criteria established in 2012 may request an initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA.