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As Remote Fifth Circuit Panel Denies Stay on Immigration Lawsuit, Ohio Families Remain in Limbo

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Gov. Kasich and Attorney General DeWine Chose Party over People in Misguided Political Lawsuit

Today, a three judge panel from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans denied the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) request for an emergency “stay” of the injunction on the President’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) programs.  The lawsuit supported by the State of Ohio is responsible for delaying stabilization and security for thousands of Ohioans who qualify for relief.  Attorney General Mike DeWine signed the state on to this misguided lawsuit, with the apparent acquiescence of the leader of the state, Governor John R. Kasich.  To date, neither politician has sat down and met with impacted families about this decision.

Impacted families, immigration lawyers, and other experts from Ohio are available to talk to the media about this lawsuit.  Contact Katy Green at katy@newpartners.com to arrange an interview.  

According to Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice, “The denial of the stay motion today is a political decision made by a political court—and in his dissent, Judge Higginson agreed.  Unfortunately, Ohio’s highest ranking politicians have chosen partisanship over people, and involved our great state in a misguided political stunt that is hurting our own residents and families.  We are confident that this case will be resolved according to the law, and thousands of Ohio families will be able to apply for documents that stabilize their lives until Congress passes full reform.  Unfortunately, it’s going to take more time to reach that day, because we need to get to a court that respects its own role and keeps politics out of the courtroom.  In the meantime, Ohio families and children wait in limbo.”

According to David Leopold, former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and practicing immigration attorney in Cleveland, OH, “Today’s 5th Circuit ruling refusing to lift the hold on DAPA and DACA expansion is hardly a surprise.  The two GOP appointed judges that refused to lift the injunction are considered among the most conservative judges on the most conservative court in the country.  Judge Higginson, who issued an opinion strongly disagreeing with the other judges, said it best, ‘The political nature of this dispute is clear from the names on the briefs…’  Unfortunately, the GOP, in Ohio and across the country, has put partisan politics before common sense policy.  The good news is that today’s decision is not the last word on the President’s immigration executive actions.  The final appeal has yet to be heard.  In the meantime, while the GOP lawsuit against DAPA and DACA winds its way through the courts, Ohioans should demand that Governor Kasich and Attorney General DeWine stand up, do the right thing and remove Ohio from this brazenly political attack on Ohio families.”

Last week, on the day DAPA and expanded DACA were supposed to go into effect, leaders from Ohio’s Voice, immigration attorneys and families who stand to benefit from the Obama administration’s immigration actions delivered nearly 3,000 petitions to Governor Kasich’s office, calling on him to take Ohio off of this misguided, political lawsuit.  Despite repeated requests for a meeting with their own Governor, which had been rebuffed, the constituents were ultimately attended to by staff who claimed that Kasich was unavailable.  The DAPA-eligible families and supporters have also been attempting to meet with Attorney General DeWine for some time.  DeWine’s office originally agreed to meet, but a date has not been set.

Not only do 25,000 Ohioans stand to benefit from DAPA and the expansion of DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created in 2012), but implementation of these plans would also benefit the economy of the state.

Read the full Fifth Circuit opinion, including Judge Higginson’s dissent, here. See more from last week’s petition delivery at the state capitol here.  

Ohio’s Voice is a project of America’s Voice.