SILVER SPRING, MD -- In an amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief replete with personal stories of immigrants, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC) joined more than 325 immigrant-serving agencies as well as civil rights, labor and social service organizations in urging the Supreme Court to uphold Obama administration executive actions.
The brief, filed March 8 in United States v. Texas, asks the court to lift an injunction by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that blocked President Barack Obama’s November 2014 orders. The injunction blocked the planned expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, which enables certain young people who came to the United States as juveniles to be protected from deportation if they meet certain criteria. The 5th Circuit also blocked the implementation of a similar program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, which would have extended that type of protection to the parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
The brief pairs statistical analyses of the potential effects the programs would have on the country with stories of people whose lives would be improved if they were eligible to participate in them.
“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,” said the brief. “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.”
It noted that the Department of Homeland Security has long had the discretion to determine how immigration laws are applied, including by deferring deportation for certain categories of undocumented immigrants. “The concocted argument to the contrary should not be used to prevent individuals from even applying,” it said.
Those whose stories the brief tells represent the “tribulations, struggles and contributions to the United States” of millions of people who could benefit from the programs.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in United States v. Texas on April 18.
Among the signers of the brief are: the American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Law Center and the Service Employees International Union.
The brief can be found here.