5th Circuit Immigration Law News - U.S. Fifth Circuit
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President Obama's executive actions on immigration won't be implemented in the Fifth Circuit within the near future, after the court of appeals refused this afternoon to lift a lower court's injunction against the program. After Obama took action to stem the deportation of non-citizen parents and children, 26 states sued. The states, led by Texas, argued that the president exceeded the scope of his authority and won an injunction in Texas federal court.

In a bad omen for the Obama administration, the two judges on the three judge Fifth Circuit panel found that the government is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its appeal. Following the lower court's adverse ruling, the Obama administration halted its immigration changes, which would defer the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants.

A claim under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics is essentially a Supreme Court-created version of 42 USC 1983, a statute conferring a cause of action for state officials' violations of a plaintiff's civil rights.

Plaintiffs can get money damages under Bivens, as they can under 42 USC 1983, but can undocumented immigrants get damages for Fourth Amendment violations allegedly committed by border patrol agents?

Remember back in February, when District Judge Andrew Hanen said President Obama's Deferred Action for Parents or Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) was unconstitutional? That ruling put the whole program in jeopardy, and the administration filed an emergency motion to stay the court's injunction.

On Tuesday, Hanen decided that the administration wouldn't be getting a stay, setting the stage for a showdown at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Fifth Circuit is set to hear arguments next month in the lawsuit over President Obama's executive actions on immigration, the court has announced. Each side will be given an hour for their arguments which will take place April 17th, in New Orleans.

The case, Texas v. United States, challenged whether the president had the power to prioritize, and deprioritize, immigration enforcement. Several states, lead by Texas, sued the U.S. in order to halt Obama's immigration plan, winning in district court. The arguments scheduled for mid-April will focus on whether the federal government should be prevented from enacting its immigration plans while the case is appealed.

The Obama administration's deferred action plan for undocumented immigrants suffered another setback today, as a federal district judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction ordering the administration to stop enforcing executive orders related to the Deferred Action for Parents or Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

Over 123 pages, Judge Andrew Hanen agreed with 26 states that the Obama administration exceeded the scope of its statutory (but not constitutional) authority in creating DAPA.

When an alien is considered for deportation proceedings, it becomes painfully important to identify whether his or her record contains any crimes of moral turpitude.

This means that any criminal conviction which classifies an alien as removable is a battleground in any deportation proceeding, since moral turpitude is truly a legal term of art. But the Fifth Circuit doesn't believe this requires much wondering, since Congress has spoken clearly on the issue.

So in Silva-Trevino v. Holder, why does the court stick to only the record of conviction?

A man who long battled to have his citizenship recognized has finally won in the Fifth Circuit, with the court finding citizenship through his father under Mexican law.

In Saldana Iracheta v. Holder, the Fifth Circuit was called upon to review an order for reinstating an order for removal, one that had been reinstated many times as Saldana had returned over and over to the U.S. from Mexico. However, the Court took the opportunity to review Saldana's claim of U.S. citizenship and lo and behold, found he was a citizen after all!

How did Mexican law convince the Fifth Circuit to come to this conclusion?

Last week, a Louisiana appellate court struck down a state law making it illegal for non-citizens to drive without documents proving they’re legally in the United States. Louisiana’s Third Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that the statute improperly governs an area of law exclusively controlled by the federal government.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of a similar Arizona law last year. While that law made it a misdemeanor for immigrants to drive without documentation, the Louisiana law goes one step further making it a felony offense. The appellate court’s ruling conflicts with a recent First Circuit Court of Appeal decision upholding the “unlawful presence” law.

No Lenience Required for Thrice-Removed Defendant

Rene Valeriano Diaz Sanchez has been removed from the U.S. three times. He thinks that he should get a break on his unlawful reentry sentence for the most recent infraction due to the extenuating circumstances surrounding his return.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees.

10 Years of Lies Undermine 'Good Moral Character' Assertion

The distant past can come back to haunt a naturalization applicant.

To qualify for naturalization, an applicant must demonstrate that he is "a person of good moral character." In a matter of first impression, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a district court can consider events that precede a naturalization application by more than one year in determining that an applicant could not demonstrate good moral character as a matter of law.