LatinoJustice applauds Supreme Court for Taking on Important Immigration case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Januar 19, 2016

CONTACT: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or jgarcia@latinojustice.org;

LatinoJustice PRLDEF applauds the Supreme Court for deciding to hear an important immigration case before the end of this year’s term in June. A coalition of immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups had urged Supreme Court to protect President’s Executive Actions on Immigration.

The justices announced their decision to hear United States v. Texas, on Tuesday. For weeks, the federal government and Texas had fought a procedural battle over whether the justices should take up the case before the end of June, the close of the court's current term. LatinoJustice as part of a coalition of 224 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups had filed an amicus brief last year urging the Supreme Court to review Texas v. U.S., the case that has temporarily blocked some of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

The Supreme Court’s decision today comes two months month after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had upheld a preliminary injunction put in place by a Texas federal district court that blocked implementation of protections for millions of immigrants across the country.

“We will not forget that the catalyst for the continuing risk of deportation that otherwise law-abiding Latino families face on a daily basis lies with the governors of Florida, Alabama, North Carolina and others who joined this suspect legal challenge brought by Texas.” said Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “By needlessly challenging the President’s clear and lawful federal authority for his administration to exercise prosecutorial discretion in order to assist deserving Latino immigrant families come out of the shadows, these states have eagerly taken on the mantle of ‘states’ rights’ that had infamously been their rallying call decades ago to justify Jim Crow segregation laws.

The amicus brief filing from LatinoJustice, the National Immigration Law Center, American Immigration Council, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Advancement Project, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, among others, supported the Department of Justice’s formal request, to the Supreme Court to review the case, known as a petition for writ of certiorari. The amici coalition acted swiftly, since the Justice Department has requested an expedited briefing schedule that would allow the Supreme Court ample time to hear the case during the current term and issue a decision by June 2016.

“It is a sad chapter in America’s civil and human rights legacy when purported ‘state rights’ trumps, even temporarily, the goal of integrating Latino families and workers into the American fabric. We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case this term, and issue a ruling upholding the President’s Executive Authority, and permit DAPA and expanded DACA-plus programs to go forward this year.” said Jose Perez, LatinoJustice Deputy General Counsel.

LatinoJustice’s amicus brief provides personal stories and testimonials about potential beneficiaries of expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA and explains how these deferred action initiatives would positively impact millions of U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children, family members, employers, employees and other community members. The groups explain that the sweeping injunction upheld in the lower court directly harms people who have either been in the U.S. since they were children or are the parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

The immigration programs, which were announced by the president in November 2014, would expand eligibility for the existing DACA program and expand protections for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents through a program known as DAPA. Together, the programs would allow millions of undocumented people to remain in the United States without fear of deportation and apply for work permits for a period of three years, with the possibility of renewal.

The full legal brief is available here. An interactive timeline outlining the process for review of the case by the Supreme Court is available here.

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