As the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas—the legal case that currently blocks implementation of the President’s DAPA and DACA expansion programs—advocates and affected individuals joined Senator Menendez today to discuss the potential impact of the President’s deferred action programs and what’s at stake for the millions of immigrant families impacted by the ruling. The President’s programs confer protection against deportation and work permits to individuals who are low priority for immigration enforcement and would allow approximately 5 million immigrants living and working in the U.S. to come out of the shadows. For more information about United States v. Texas and to view the amicus briefs filed in the case please visit FightforFamilies.org.
“As friends of the Court — law enforcement officials, teachers, religious leaders, immigrant rights leaders, DREAMers, and everyone who believes in the merits of our case, remain united in our call for a fairer immigration system rooted in the fundamental American beliefs of justice, humanity and keeping families together,” said Senator Menendez, who co-lead a group of 225 Democratic Members of Congress in submitting an amicus brief in support of the legality of President Obama’s immigration executive actions. “Today, more than ever, at a time when the ugly side of politics has made our communities the target of fear-mongering attacks, we stand united to say our fight to bring our brothers and sisters out of the shadows is still not over. And come April 18th, when all eyes turn to the Supreme Court, we are confident the Court will see through the hate and the political theater, and justice will ultimately prevail because our nation lives by its values and builds bridges instead of walls.”
Added Kica Matos, Director, Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice Center for Community Change, “The submitted Amicus Briefs are filled with stories of immigrants who struggle each and every day because of our hopelessly broken immigration system. These stories speak powerfully to what is at the heart of this case – the basic dignity and the rights of immigrants to live lives free from fear and family separation. The right of people who give of their sweat and labor to be treated fairly and to be paid lawful and livable wages. And the need for us to continue to uphold the civil rights of all – especially the most vulnerable and oppressed among us. In doing so, we honor the best in our humanity and our collective aspirations as a nation.”
“Entrepreneurs and business leaders across the country support DAPA and expanded DACA because they know that these critical policy changes will boost our economy and create American jobs. Ensuring that those who are already contributing to our economy and our communities can come out of the shadows and live free from the fear of deportation is right for America’s economy and families,” said Alida Garcia, Director of Coalitions & Policy, FWD.us.
“As a teacher, I work every day to give my students the best I can. But I know I can’t expect them to focus on what we’re doing in school when they are stressed and anxious about their families and their future. I know because I was in their shoes, my status now is only temporary – I need Congress to act on a permanent solution and pass immigration reform,” said Areli Zarate, a DACA-mented high school teacher from Austin, Texas, who is a member of Education Austin. “I am speaking out today for the millions who want nothing more than to walk out of the shadows and into a future built on the promise of an America that breaks down barriers instead of building walls.”
Fr. Timothy P. Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, added “The U.S. Catholic bishops have affirmed their strong support for President Obama’s Executive Order on relief for immigrant families. Any action to keep families together and protect children is consistent with our core faith values and our core American values. As Pope Francis said, ‘Every human being is a child of God…migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved.’”
Dayton, OH Police Chief Richard Biehl said “Our community members are best served when law enforcement officials consider the public safety interests of the community as a whole. We know that when someone fears approaching us to report a crime, the entire community’s safety is compromised. The executive immigration actions will strengthen public safety as the immigrant community will no longer have the same reason to fear these encounters; they will instead have the freedom to cooperate in the protection of their community without the constant threat of deportation.”
Click here to watch a video recording of the conference. More photos and live tweets of today’s press conference are available here. For more information about United States v. Texas and to view the amicus briefs filed in the case please visit FightforFamilies.org.