Anabel left her abusive partner more times than she could count, but it seemed she was always doomed to go back. He used to rape her, beat her, and do anything in his power to control her, she said. But he was a U.S. citizen, and Anabel, originally from Mexico, was undocumented; he spoke fluent English, and she spoke almost none. His name was on the lease, and her name was not, so when the police came to the door because the neighbors had called them, or because Anabel had dialed 911 in desperation, they told her that they could not legally ask him to leave. (Some last names have been omitted to protect victims’ identities.)
Sometimes she would go to a shelter for victims of domestic violence, but after a month or two, they would tell her that she needed to find work and an apartment. Without a work permit or a Social Security number, this was nearly impossible. Sometimes she lived on the street for a while. Sometimes she slept in her car on chilly Minnesota nights. Sometimes she had her children with her; sometimes she was pregnant; sometimes they’d taken nothing from the apartment but the clothes they were wearing. Always, after a while, she would go back in despair. At least her partner could work legally and make money. At least he could put a roof over her children’s heads.
Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), sometimes called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, is a planned American immigration policy to grant deferred action status to certain undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010 and have children who are either American citizens or lawful permanent residents. Deferred action is not full legal status but would come with a three-year, renewable work permit and exemption from deportation.
The program was announced in November 2014 by President Barack Obama, along with a number of immigration reform steps including increased resources for border enforcement, new procedures for high-skilled immigrants, and an expansion of the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Several states have filed lawsuits against the Federal government, arguing that DAPA violates the Constitution and federal statutes. A temporary injunction was issued in February 2015, blocking the program from going into effect while the lawsuit proceeds. (Wikipedia).