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Ohio Advocates Celebrate Supreme Court Decision to Hear Immigration Case

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Ohio Families One Step Closer To Immigration Relief

This is great news.  Finally, Ohio immigrant families and children will have their day in court.

In 2014, thousands of Ohioans breathed a sigh of relief when the President announced an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and creation of a related plan, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).  Finally, a modicum of freedom and mobility was within reach for hard-working parents of U.S. Citizens and legal permanent residents, and other Ohioans who have lived here for most of their lives.

But their hopes were soon dashed when Ohio joined other Republican-led states to file a politically-motivated lawsuit against DAPA and the expansion of DACA.  These states hand-selected a judge in Texas who handed them the result they sought, and the policies were put on hold through an injunction.  Since then, people have been holding their breath, waiting for the wheels of justice to turn and for the case to make its way to the Supreme Court.

Finally, an end is in sight, as today the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up the case, with a decision likely to come in June.

Claudia Longo, an Ohio immigration activist, said: “DAPA is not the permanent solution to an extremely complex and broken system, but it will allow undocumented parents of U.S children to work and live without fear until Congress decides to act on reform. Keeping millions of families in limbo is un-American.”

Lynn Tramonte, the director of Ohio’s Voice, said “This is a politically-motivated lawsuit, and it’s shameful that our state Attorney General Mike DeWine and Governor John Kasich are going along with it. They are actively suing our own Ohio families and children, keeping people in limbo, because of a political beef with the President. They are playing politics with people’s lives. We are calling on the Supreme Court to reject politics and restore the rule of law by unfreezing DAPA and the expansion of DACA.”

Oral arguments on the case will be held in the spring, with a decision like to come in June 2016.

“I believe the decision to press forward on this lawsuit is going to backfire on the Republicans who dreamed up the strategy in the first place,” Tramonte continued.  “The Supreme Court decision will come just as the 2016 general election cycle is heating up.  If the Court rules on behalf of immigrant families, which most observers expect it will, the exultation of the win and the transformative nature these policies will have on families that include American citizens—and voters—will have a major impact on the November elections.”

David Leopold, Ohio immigration attorney and former President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, added, “Every president since Eisenhower has taken immigration executive actions to protect vulnerable immigrant families from deportation.  The deferred action programs—DAPA and DACA expansion—announced by President Obama in November 2014 follow that important tradition and are solidly within his executive authority.  The Supreme Court has already made it crystal clear that Mr. Obama has broad discretion when it comes to immigration enforcement.  And by establishing DAPA and DACA expansion Mr. Obama is taking a common sense approach to immigration enforcement—he’s focusing on deporting dangerous criminals and national security risks, not hard working mothers, fathers and DREAMers.  It’s appalling that rather than enact comprehensive immigration reform Republican politicians—including unfortunately Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine—chose instead to respond to Mr. Obama’s common sense enforcement policies by searching for a sympathetic judge who, as expected, blocked Mr. Obama’s executive actions.  But thankfully he does not get the last word—the U.S. Supreme Court does.  And the Justices decision today ensures that Ohioans and Americans across the country will finally have their day in Court.  I’m confident that when the Supreme Court takes a look at this brazenly partisan Republican attack on the immigration executive actions it will correct the injustice of the lower courts, allowing DAPA and DACA expansion to bring 5 million undocumented parents and DREAMERs out of the shadows.”

For more on the impact of DACA and DAPA on Ohio, see the following resources:

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