Do states have standing to challenge federal programs that grant temporary deportation protection to some undocumented immigrants, if the programs increase the states’ cost of providing voluntarily subsidized benefits? And is the deferred deportation program in this case lawful under the Administrative Procedure Act and Article II of the U.S. Constitution?
In 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued a guidance policy granting temporary deportation protection to 4.3 million undocumented immigrants, called the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) program. In the same year, twenty-six states (the “states”) challenged the DAPA guidance. In this case, the Supreme Court will decide: (1) whether states have standing to challenge DAPA if it will increase the costs of state-subsidized benefits, such as driver’s licenses; and (2) whether DAPA is lawful under the Administrative Procedure Act and the Take Care Clause of the Constitution. The United States argues that the states do not have standing because the increased costs of state subsidized benefits are merely incidental effects of the guidance policy and are self-inflicted. Additionally, the United States argues that the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) gives the executive branch power to choose which immigrants to deport—a power exercised through the DAPA guidance policy. But the states assert that the United States cannot defeat standing by claiming that the costs are self-inflicting. Moreover, the states claim that the INA does not explicitly give the executive power to provide temporary protection from deportation. The Court’s decision could affect the status of and benefits available to undocumented immigrants and the scope of the president’s discretion when executing immigration law.
Questions as Framed for the Court by the Parties
1. Does a State that voluntarily provides a subsidy to all aliens with deferred action have Article III standing and a justiciable cause of action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 500 et seq., to challenge the Guidance because it will lead to more aliens having deferred action?
2. Is the Guidance arbitrary and capricious or otherwise not in accordance with law?
3. Is the Guidance invalid because it did not go through the APA’s notice-and-comment rule-making procedures?
4. Does the Guidance violate the Take Care Clause of the Constitution, Art. II, § 3?