On August 25, 2016, Martín Batalla Vidal, a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York challenging the reach of the preliminary injunction issued by a federal court in Texas in United States v. Texas.  The Texas case sought to block the implementation of the Obama Administration’s 2014 immigration-relief initiatives, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and an expansion of DACA. On September 29, 2016, the advocacy organization Make the Road New York (MRNY), some of whose members, clients, and employees are DACA recipients, joined the lawsuit.

On September 5, 2017, after Attorney General Sessions announced the administration was terminating the DACA program, Mr. Batalla Vidal and MRNY requested leave to amend their complaint in order to challenge the decision to rescind DACA. The plaintiffs argue that the decision is unlawful under the Administrative Procedure Act and the Fifth Amendment.

Announced in 2012, DACA allows some young undocumented immigrants, such as Mr. Batalla Vidal, who came to the United States as children to live and work in the country temporarily if they meet certain eligibility requirements. To date, approximately 800,000 people have obtained DACA. In November 2014, the Obama Administration sought to build on the success of that initiative by expanding eligibility requirements to more immigrant youth and by creating the DAPA program, which would similarly allow some undocumented parents of U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children to live and work in the country. But that initiative was blocked by an injunction issued in the Texas case in February 2015 and subsequently was withdrawn by the Trump administration in June 2017. In September 2017, the Trump administration announced that it was terminating the DACA program.

Mr. Batalla Vidal is a 26-year-old New York City resident who came from Mexico to the United States at the age of 7. Mr. Batalla Vidal currently works at a nursing home and rehabilitation center and financially supports his mother, and has a two-year work permit under DACA. He is currently a first-year criminal justice major at LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY). However, with the Trump Administration’s termination of the DACA program, Mr. Batalla Vidal and hundreds of thousands of other young people who have resided in the United States for their entire lives will be stripped of that protection from deportation and their ability to work and live in the United States.   

WIRAC represents Mr. Batalla Vidal and MRNY along with co-counsel MRNY and the National Immigration Law Center.

Op-Ed by Mr. Batalla Vidal (posted September 6, 2017)

Letter Requesting Pre-Motion Conference (filed September 5, 2017)

Brooklyn Lawsuit Could Affect the Fate of Millions of Immigrants Nationwide” (posted October 9, 2016)

Amended Complaint (filed September 29, 2016)