In Landmark Case, U.S. v. Texas, 326 Civil Rights, Immigration, and Community Groups Urge Supreme Court to Let Immigration Relief Programs Go Forward

NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice is one of the many organizations that signed the amicus brief featuring profiles of families whose lives would improve if immigration directives were allowed to take effect 

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 10, 2016

Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice joined a diverse coalition of 326 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups in filing an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Texas, urging the court to lift the injunction that blocked the executive actions on immigration that President Obama announced in November 2014.

The Obama administration’s expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as well as a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) initiative were stopped by a federal district court in Texas, and that court’s order subsequently was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The lawsuit against the president’s executive actions was brought by 26 states. Late last year the federal government appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

“If the injunction is lifted, many families will be more secure, without the looming threat that loved ones will be deported at a moment’s notice,” the brief filed by the civil rights groups argues. “Many deserving individuals will also have access to better jobs and the ability to improve their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities. DHS has discretion to grant or deny applications for the initiatives at issue, and the concocted argument to the contrary should not be used to prevent individuals from even applying.”

The brief was filed by the National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Council, the Service Employees International Union, the Advancement Project, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, and 320 other immigrants’ rights, civil rights, labor and service-provider organizations.

In the brief, the groups outline how families and communities would benefit from the initiatives. The brief provides examples of parents and individuals who would be able to contribute more fully to their communities if the immigration initiatives were allowed to take effect.

Advocates note that the Supreme Court should not be used to settle a political debate, with anti-immigrant activists trying to push through the courts what they haven’t been able to accomplish through the political process.

New Jersey is home to over 400,000 undocumented immigrants and at least half would qualify in the Supreme Court rules in favor of DAPA and DACA.

I have been living here for 16 years with a son who is an American citizen and each and everyday day we both live under deep uncertainty. I am convinced that this relief not only helps immigrant families but it strengthens the economy of this country and this is great for all. I hope this becomes a reality,” said Maria Sanchez , volunteer at Wind of the Spirit, Immigrant Resource Center.