16 Attorneys General, mayors and leaders from nearly 120 cities and counties, over 60 business leaders and entrepreneurs, and two dozen faith-based organizations are among those urging the Supreme Court to uphold President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. This was an impressive showing of support for DAPA and DACA+.
“President Obama has proposed common sense actions on immigration, which will allow millions of hard-working immigrants to come out of the shadows, contribute to the prosperity of this nation and build their American Dream,” said California Attorney General Kamala Harris in a friend-of-the-court brief. “I urge the Supreme Court to reverse the lower court’s decision, and allow these important immigration actions to move forward.”
Among the other signers are Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
In California, implementation of the programs would have an enormous impact for both the state’s families and economy. Undocumented immigrants in the state “make up 34% of its farm workers, 22% of its production workers and 21% of its construction workers according to one estimate,” noted the brief.
“Today, the undocumented workforce alone contributes $130 billion to California’s gross domestic product (GDP) — an amount larger than the entire respective GDPs of 19 other states.”
City and county leaders joined the Attorneys General in supporting President Obama’s immigration actions.
“Immigrants are part of the economic and social fabric of our cities and nation. But the long-delayed implementation of the President’s executive action is tearing those families and our communities apart,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in support, and was joined by Mayors of some of the nation’s most populous cities, including the Mayors of Atlanta, Austin, Birmingham, Houston, and Los Angeles, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities.
Noted HuffPo: “The group said the localities involved in the brief are home to about 15 million immigrants, including more than 1.5 million who could benefit from Obama’s programs. Allowing the programs to move forward would make the localities safer and provide them with revenue, they argue.”
In the business world, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is among the more than 60 entrepreneurs, including the heads of LinkedIn and Redfin, who are also urging the Supreme Court to uphold the President’s actions.
“Instead of inviting the economic contributions of immigrants, our immigration enforcement policies have often inhibited the productivity of U.S. companies and made it harder for them to compete in the global marketplace,” read the brief from the business leaders. “By contrast, the continuing threat of removal and other uncertainties facing undocumented individuals weaken our economy.”
Additionally, 24 Catholic, Evangelical and Protestant faith-based organizations made a moral argument to the court to defend the actions, with Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, saying: “We stand in solidarity today with the millions of aspiring American families who ask the Court to alleviate their constant fear of deportation by upholding the President’s executive actions.”
“As a Catholic Sister and a lawyer, I have confidence that the Supreme Court will reach the right conclusion about the constitutionality of keeping mothers and fathers with their citizen children. These executive protections are pro-family and an important down payment toward a more just immigration system.”
The host of organizations and leaders join 225 members of Congress, including Democratic leaders Senator Harry Reid and Representative Nancy Pelosi, who yesterday filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to “vacate the preliminary injunction blocking the programs from being implemented.”
The President’s actions — the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — would protect up to five million undocumented immigrants with deep roots and ties to the United States from deportation.
But implementation of the President’s actions have been blocked by a partisan lawsuit from the Governors and Attorneys General from 26 states. Several of the briefs echoed what we’ve heard from legal analysts, Texas does not have standing to even bring this case. It’s a political question, which federal courts do not resolve. For example, one phrase from former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger summed up this point: “Indeed, this case has all the trappings of an epic political battle.” An epic political battle, like this one over immigration, should not even be before the Court.
The case, United States v. Texas, is currently scheduled for arguments before the Supreme Court on April 18. We expect a decision by the end of June.