Rep. Gosar Celebrates Trump Administration Ending Obama-Era Amnesty Policy

Jun 16, 2017

For Immediate Release

Date: June 16, 2017

Contact: Kelly Roberson



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement in response to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kelly’s rescission of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program:

“Ending the DAPA program is a long overdue victory for the Rule of Law and our Constitution,” stated Congressman Gosar. “This amnesty program was yet another example of gross overreach by an out-of-control Obama Administration that trampled on the clear jurisdiction of Congress. One of the hallmarks of our Constitutional Republic is the separation of powers among the branches of our government. When President Obama took action by executive fiat in defiance of Congress, it was an affront to every bedrock principle of this country and opened the door to further expand a monolithic federal regime.

“I applaud Secretary Kelly and President Trump for rescinding this lawless program and their stalwart commitment to upholding the Constitution and heeding the will of the people. The list of federal judges, states and Members of Congress who have long-opposed the DAPA program is long and I am pleased that we can finally report a victory on this matter. However, our work is not done and we still need to rescind other lawless Obama immigration policies. The Central American Minors (CAM) program and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should be the next two amnesty schemes, created by the Obama Administration without the consent of Congress, terminated by the Trump Administration.”


In his first six years in office, President Obama stated at least 22 times that he did not have the authority to unilaterally change immigration policy. Yet, that is exactly what he attempted to do by issuing unconstitutional executive actions in November 2014, creating the DAPA program and expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

On June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit which upheld Judge Andrew Hanen’s injunction that temporarily blocks President Obama’s unconstitutional November 2014 executive amnesty orders. Click HERE to read the Supreme Court Opinion.

Congressman Gosar has been fighting President Obama’s executive amnesty orders since they were first announced. In March 2016, the Congressman submitted multiple appropriations riders to the House Appropriations Committee aimed at securing the border and defunding President Obama’s executive actions that sought to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Read more HERE.

In February of 2015, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issued an injunction halting President Obama’s November 2014 executive amnesty orders from going into effect.

Judge Hanen’s injunction stemmed from a lawsuit led by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and 25 other states, including Arizona, which argues President Obama did not have legal authority when he bypassed Congress and took executive action to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and create the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program.

On May 11, 2015, Rep. Gosar and more than 100 members of Congress filed a bicameral amicus brief in support of the continued injunction. The amicus brief can be found HERE.

In November of 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s injunction.

On March 17, 2016, Rep. Gosar voted for, and the House passed, H. Res. 639, legislation that authorized the Speaker to file an amicus brief on behalf of the entire House of Representatives and in defense of Congress’ Article I powers.

Courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security

On June 15, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, after consulting with the Attorney General, signed a memorandum rescinding the November 20, 2014 memorandum that created the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) because there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy. 

The rescinded memo purported to provide a path for illegal aliens with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child to be considered for deferred action. To be considered for deferred action, an alien was required to satisfy six criteria:

(1) as of November 20, 2014, be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;

(2) have continuously resided here since before January 1, 2010;

(3) have been physically present here on November 20, 2014, and when applying for relief;

(4) have no lawful immigration status on that date;

(5) not fall within the Secretary’s enforcement priorities; and

(6) “present no other factors that, in the exercise of discretion, make [ ] the grant of deferred action inappropriate.”

Prior to implementation of DAPA, twenty-six states challenged the policies established in the DAPA memorandum in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The district court enjoined implementation of the DAPA memorandum, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision, and the Supreme Court allowed the district court’s injunction to remain in place.

The rescinded policy also provided expanded work authorization for recipients under the DACA program for three years versus two years. This policy was also enjoined nationwide and has now been rescinded.