NJ Alliance Joins More Than 150 Civil, Labor, and Immigrants’ Rights Groups In Amicus Brief Supporting President’s Immigration Actions

Brief Filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Asks Court to Lift Block on Expanded DACA and DAPA


For Immediate Release

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Contact: Johanna Calle, NJAIJ Program Coordinator, 973-474-9850 (office) and 201-580-3060 (cell)

Newark, New Jersey – President Barack Obama’s immigration actions would allow millions of immigrants to apply for relief from deportation and work authorization, improving the nation’s economy and society, charged civil and immigrants’ rights groups — including the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice — in an amicus curiae brief filed today. This brief was one of several in support of the Obama administration’s immigration actions in the case Texas et al. v. United States et al. to extend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), which economists predict will raise the GDP by more than $200 billion over the next ten years.

“New Jersey has the third largest percentage of immigrants in the country, and more than 200,000 people in the state would benefit from expanded DACA and DAPA,” said the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. “New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) members and partners are actively working to identify and provide support to residents eligible for DACA and DAPA in New Jersey. Any delay in the implementation of these actions will make hundreds of thousands of people vulnerable to fraud and cause family separations due to deportations. ”

On February 16, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Brownsville Division, blocked implementation of expansion of the DACA initiative that would have allowed certain immigrants who arrived in this country as children to apply for deportation relief and work authorization. The court also blocked implementation of the DAPA initiative that would have allowed certain immigrant parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to apply for deportation relief and work authorization.

Groups including the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice argue that delays in implementation harm the nation’s economy and prevent aspiring Americans from more fully participating in their communities. The brief features profiles of small business owners, primary breadwinners, and social justice activists who would be able to increase their economic and societal contributions if granted the relief proposed by DACA and DAPA.

There are thousands of stories like these in New Jersey, such as that of 32BJ Member Cilia Ramirez, who has lived in the U.S. for 16 years. Cilia, a mother of two U.S. Citizens, would be able to live in her community without fear of deportation if she were granted DAPA relief.

“President Obama’s immigration executive orders bring hope, opportunity and peace of mind to me, my family and millions of immigrants who have built a life and home in this country,” said 32BJ member Cilia Ramirez. “Without DACA and DAPA, lives in hang the balance, families can be torn apart and bright futures could cease. Let’s live up to America’s promise by embracing immigrants who are contributing so much to our society and economy. They are hardworking mothers, fathers, neighbors and friends who simply want a chance at a better life, just like generations of immigrants who came before them.”

These actions would provide some relief to many immigrants who have lived in the country for decades. “President Obama’s executive action will allow me to finally get longer-term work permit to work and better support my kids,” said Pauline N., a single mother of three from Newark, NJ and a member of the American Friends Service Committee’s Detention Project. “It will also give me more hope to travel and see my mother whom I haven’t seen for over 20 years. This policy will give hope and stability to my family.”

Today’s filings are the latest legal step in response to Texas et al. v. United States et al., the 26-state challenge to the administration’s immigration actions. On April 17, the Fifth Circuit will hear oral argument in a request for emergency stay of the lower court injunction. If granted, the emergency stay would allow the U.S. government to begin implementation of the DAPA and DACA initiatives.

To read the brief, click here.


NJAIJ Member Organizations:  1199SEIU | 32BJ SEIU | American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey | American Friends Service Committee | Catholic Charities Diocese of Metuchen | Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton | Centro Comunitario CEUS | El Centro Hispanoamericano | Faith in New Jersey | First Friends NJ & NY | Haiti Solidarity Network of the North East | Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey | Ironbound Community Corp. | La Fuente, a Tri-State Worker & Community Fund, Inc. | Make the Road New Jersey | National Association of Social Workers – NJ Chapter | New Jersey Communities United | New Jersey Policy Perspective | New Labor | Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc. | Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of NJ | Wind of the Spirit


# # #