Safe Passage Project responds to the U.S. v. Texas opinion

Safe Passage, June 23, 2016



Professor Lenni Benson

(212) 431-2336 (Office)

(917) 596-3523 (Cell)

New York (Thursday, June 23, 2016)

(New York, NY) This morning, in a 4-4 split decision on U.S. v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court left in place the injunction blocking the deferred actions programs known as “DAPA” and “expanded DACA,” announced by President Obama in November of 2014.

These programs were announced as part of a complex set of policy initiatives that would provide work authorization and respite from deportation. Even if operational, these programs still fall far short of legal status in the United States, and fail to provide a path to legal permanent residency or U.S. citizenship.

Today’s one-sentence per curiam opinion, in real terms, means that millions of families across the United States will have to wait for the next action by the U.S. Federal District Court in Brownsville, Texas. The case may now continue to trial, which itself could take months to conclude.

Following the decision’s release, President Obama commented on the impact. “Today, the Supreme Court was unable to reach a decision… It means that the expanded set of Deferred Action policies, the ones that I announced two years ago, can’t go forward at this stage, until there is a ninth justice on the court to break the tie.” President Obama reiterated that this would not affect standing policies including the 2012 DACA program or the enforcement priorities in the context of removal.

We, at Safe Passage Project, continue to advocate and assist unaccompanied minors who are facing deportation. This decision has no effect on the ability of people to seek protection and asylum in the United States. Today’s decision, in large part, is due to lack of congressional leadership in this area. Now more than ever, we need thoughtful and well-designed immigration reform.


Safe Passage Project, a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit housed at New York Law School, was created to address the unmet legal needs of indigent immigrant youth living in New York by providing them with basic legal advice and immigration assistance. Safe Passage Project works with volunteer attorneys to provide free representation to children in immigration court. Safe Passage Project provides training, resources, and mentoring to volunteer attorneys on immigration law and procedure. To learn more, visit

Safe Passage Project_Press Release 6.23.2016