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Groups File Amicus Brief in Texas v. USA Immigration Lawsuit

December 30, 2014 (2 min read)

"Today, immigration, civil rights and labor groups joined the legal effort to defend President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration by filing an amicus “friend of the court” brief in the case, State of Texas vs. United States. In the days after the president’s November 20 announcement, two lawsuits were filed seeking to block implementation of the new deferred action initiatives. Both lawsuits seek a “preliminary injunction”— which would temporarily block the programs from being implemented during the life of the lawsuit. The amicus brief, which was written in support of the federal government, provides economic, fiscal and societal reasons to allow these programs to take effect later this year.

“President Obama’s executive action isn’t just about policy – it’s about people,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “A court has been asked to block a policy that will keep families together and improve our economy. Any delay to implementation of the new deferred action initiatives wouldn’t just hurt immigrants, it would hurt all of us. Justice delayed is justice denied.” The National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Define American, National Immigrant Justice Center, New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, Service Employees International Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, and United We Dream filed a brief opposing the states’ request for a preliminary injunction against the administration’s new deferred action initiatives. In their brief, the groups provide powerful testimonials about potential beneficiaries of the new deferred action initiatives, many of whom are already entrepreneurs and community leaders. These individuals include a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, passionate advocates and volunteers, and primary breadwinners for U.S. citizen children. The groups also explain how the deferred action initiatives will improve the U.S. economy, raising wages, increasing tax revenue, and creating new jobs.

Legal battles against President Obama’s action on immigration have already begun. Last week, the first case brought by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, was rejected by a federal district court judge in D.C. The second case, filed by Texas and 24 other states, is currently set to be heard on January 9, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Brownsville Division.  These lawsuits are merely an attempt to use the courts for political ends; scores of legal experts agree that the President’s actions are well within the scope of his executive authority. Beneath the surface of the lawsuits are the same speculative and discredited myths of criminality and economic impacts that have long fueled anti-immigrant rhetoric." - NILC, Dec. 29, 2014.

To view the groups’ legal brief in full see: