Immigration Injunction 101: What’s Happened So Far, and What We Are Waiting For Now

The process and language around the injunction blocking the expanded DACA & DAPA programs can get confusing. President Obama announced executive action on immigration in November 2014, but expanded DACA and DAPA have been caught in a legal debate ever since. Here are some fast facts for LGBTQ AAPI folks to stay informed!

Arpaio vs. Obama:

  • Joe Arpaio, our favorite xenophobic & racist sheriff from Arizona (remember S.B. 1070?) immediately filed a court case against the Obama administration. He claimed that the Executive Action would directly harm him because “criminals would not be deported” under the new law.
  • Arpaio lost this challenge.

Texas vs. United States:

  • 26 states filed a lawsuit against the United States, claiming that the Obama administration overstepped their constitutional authority with the Executive Action on November 20th.
  • The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction, or temporary block, of the expanded DACA & DAPA programs, pending a trial. This is why these programs have not yet opened for applicants.
  • In response the U.S. government asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a higher federal court, for an emergency “stay,” or pause, on the injunction during the appeal process. In other words, the Obama administration asked the court to allow expanded DACA & DAPA to proceed while the lawsuit continues. On May 26th, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request for a stay. So for now, the new programs are still not running.
  • The U.S. government also appealed the preliminary injunction itself to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, on an expedited basis. A hearing for this appeal will take place on July 10th in New Orleans. This is the next big step in this court case.
  • If the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rules to uphold the injunction against the Obama Administration, next steps for the U.S. government could include:
    • Asking for a review by all 15 judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. (Currently, only 3 judges are hearing this case.)
    • Appeal the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • If the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down the preliminary injunction , and rules in the Obama administration’s favor, we expect the expanded programs will finally be open for applicants.

As a reminder: the injunction & court cases are only regarding expanded DACA & DAPA. If you qualified for DACA before Executive Action in November, you should still apply! Contact if you have questions or need support.

Twitter Chat & National Call

RiseUp! NQAPIA Week of Action on Immigration

Twitter Chat

Saturday, 4/18
4-5 p.m. EDT/1-2 p.m. PDT

 Twitter Chat

Join us for a twitter chat during our Week of Action on issues impacting LGBT AAPI immigrants & our allies, including profiling, detention, deportation, DACA/DAPA, the executive action, and more.

Tweet under #RiseUpNQAPIA to join in!

Contact for more information.

National Call was on Monday, April 13th 

A mp3 of the recording will be available asap.

For information please email

Speakers included:

Kris Hayashi
Transgender Law Center (TLC)
Sarath Suong
Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)
Sasha W.
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)

We need administrative relief on immigration NOW!

President Obama promised to act on immigration reform after the midterm elections. NQAPIA is urging that any administrative relief will include the special needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders.

Executive action by the President will help more than 267,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants – a disproportionate share are AAPI – who live under the fear of deportation.  Undocumented immigrants contribute tremendously to our nation’s economy and the LGBT community.  For example, Rev. Noel Bordador came to this country as a young man and overstayed his visa. In the 1980s, Congress enacted an amnesty program for undocumented immigrants.  Noel legalized and then became an openly LGBT ordained minister.  He now works with low income and other undocumented immigrants.

Imagine the millions of people who could benefit from administrative relief. In Uncovering Our Stories, community members shared their stories of immigrating to the U.S as children and being undocumented as adults, struggles with the broken immigration system and of family members in immigration detention waiting to be deported to a country that is no longer home because of minor crimes they committed as youth. Undocumented immigrants are us and our community.

As Asian Americans, we are the nation’s fastest growing minority group, largely due to immigration, and we need bold, broad and inclusive administrative relief to keep our families together. NQAPIA encourages the president to:

  • Expand the deferred action program to legalize undocumented immigrants including those with non-violent criminal convictions
  • Eliminate the family visa backlogs so that more LGBT AAPIs can be united with loving family members who support them
  • Eliminate the 1 year bar to apply for political asylum for LGBT people fleeing persecution
  • Greater prosecutorial discretion in all deportations and special consideration for the needs of transgender detainees
  • Create legal protections to guard against racial profiling
  • Expand visa programs for students and both low-wage and professional (H1B) workers


Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1111 to urge the President to keep his promise and use his executive authority to provide administrative immigration relief.

When you call give your name and address and say this: “I urge the President Obama keep his promise to act on immigration reform. I strongly urge the President to grant administrative relief that includes the special needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders.”

#AAPIs4Relief #queeringimmigration