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Immigration, Civil Rights and Labor Groups Join Legal Effort to Defend Immigration Action

Released on Mon, Dec 29, 2014

Washington D.C. - 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 20th announcement, two lawsuits were filed seeking to block implementation of the new deferred action initiatives. Both lawsuits seek a “preliminary injunction”—a temporary block of the programs during the life of a lawsuit. The amicus brief, which was written in support of the federal government, provides powerful economic, fiscal, and societal reasons to allow these programs to take effect later this year.

The American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Define American, National Immigrant Justice Center, National Immigration Law 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, community leaders, and primary breadwinners for U.S. citizen children. The groups also explain how the deferred action initiatives will positively impact 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 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. 

To view the groups’ legal brief in full see:

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For press inquiries, contact:

Wendy Feliz, American Immigration Council, wfeliz@immcouncil.org or 202-812-2499.
Adela de la Torre, National Immigration Law Center, Delatorre@nilc.org or 213-400-7822
Beatriz Lopez, Service Employees International Union, beatiz.lopez@seiu.org or 
Belle Woods, American Immigration Lawyers Association, bwoods@aila.org  or 202-507-7675
Julie Mao, New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice, jmao@nowcrj.org  or 504-376-6292
Kyleah Starling, Southern Poverty Law Center, kyleah.starling@splcenter.org  or 334-235-5371
Maria Cruz Lee, Define American maria@defineamerican.com  or 347-882-3225

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