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Pelosi, Reid, 200+ Congressional Democrats Join Obama Administration In Supreme Court Immigration Appeal

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More than 200 Democrats from the House and Senate — led by Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid and Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi — filed an amicus brief yesterday supporting “the Obama administration’s appeal to the Supreme Court to take up a legal case that has stalled President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.”

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court rejected Texas’s appeal to delay consideration of the lawsuit blocking the implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA, which could open the possibility of the Court hearing the case this term, with a decision coming in the middle of next year.

“We are confident that the Supreme Court will support President Obama’s decision to use the authority granted by Congress to set enforcement priorities and focus our limited resources on threats to national security and public safety, not hard-working families,” reads the friend-of-the-court brief filed by 184 House Democrats and 34 Senate Democrats, including Rep. Pelosi and Senator Reid.

“President Obama took executive action after extensive legal analysis by the Department of Justice and only after Republicans refused to address our broken immigration system. DAPA and the expansion of DACA will give families peace of mind and the assurance they will not be torn apart by our broken immigration system.”

“Instead of taking steps to permanently solve our immigration problems or voting on a good reform bill like the one passed by the Senate in 2013, Republicans have only sought to end birthright citizenship, defund the executive actions and deport DREAMers. Their doomed delaying tactics only serve to prolong the suffering of families and American children.”‎

As expert immigration attorney David Leopold noted, while the Court’s refusal to accommodate Texas’s delay isn’t a guarantee the Court will hear the case (that decision will probably come around January), it is a welcome sign:

“The ruling does not tell us whether or not the Supreme Court will hear the Obama administration’s appeal of the Republican lawsuit attacking DAPA and DACA expansion.  But the Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday is a welcome sign that the Justices will not permit the state of Texas to unnecessarily delay the case on procedural grounds with the goal of avoiding Supreme Court review.  To me the Supreme Court’s refusal to grant Texas a 30 day extension signals that the Justices fully intend to consider the case based on the law and the facts and keep politics out of the courtroom.”

“Members of Congress are deeply concerned that the Fifth Circuit Court decision interferes with Congress’s ability to grant the Executive the flexibility and discretion as necessary to enforce the law in a rational, effective, and efficient manner,” continues a press release from the Democratic members of the House and Senate supporting the Obama Administration’s petition to SCOTUS.

“The ruling would instead ‘force Congress to specifically prescribe every priority and power with detailed enforcement instructions,’ the practical effect of which – if allowed to stand – would strip the Executive of broad authority to make discretionary judgments on how best to enforce the nation’s immigration laws where Congress has not prescribed a specific action, and would devastate millions of individuals, families, and communities across the nation.”

Full text of the amicus brief can be found here.