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Ohio Immigration Advocates React to Ruling on Texas Immigration Lawsuit, Available for Interviews

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In a stunning and blatantly political move, a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas has put a temporary halt on immigration registration plans from the Obama Administration.  

Late last year, the State of Ohio joined Texas and many other Republican-led states in suing the federal government to block expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and creation of a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) plan.  Attorney General Mike DeWine and Governor John Kasich joined with other Republican AGs and Governors in a politically-motivated lawsuit to prevent thousands of Ohio residents from obtaining immigration documents, despite the clear economic benefit to our state.

Judge Hanen’s decision to issue an injunction and halt implementation of these efforts is a temporary speed-bump in what is likely to be a drawn-out—and unsuccessful—legal battle for the states.  The law and numerous other court decisions are firmly on the side of the Obama Administration and immigrants in this area.  

However, the injunction is top news in media across the country.  Today, Ohio-based legal experts, advocates, and immigrants are available to talk to the media about this case.

David Leopold, Past President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Founder of David Wolfe Leopold & Associates Co., LPA (Cleveland, OH)

Contact: 216-696-4676 or dleopold@immvisa.com

Quote: “At the outset it’s important to note that Judge Hanen’s decision affects only DAPA and the DACA expansion under Administration’s November 20, 2014 memoranda.  It has no impact on the 2012 DACA process, including applications to renew 2012 DACA.  Nor did Judge Hanen rule that the Obama Administration violated the Constitution. He concluded only that DACA and DAPA violate requirements under Administrative Procedure Act—a much more narrow ruling.

“Nevertheless, by delaying DACA expansion and DAPA Judge Hanen has lived up to our worst fears about judicial activism.  The good news is that while his decision is disappointing it’s not the last word—that will come from a much higher court.  In the meantime DREAMers and parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents should rest assured that President Obama’s immigration actions are solidly legal and will be upheld by the appellate courts.  Not only is a temporary reprieve for hard working DREAMers and undocumented parents right thing to do, it’s damn good public policy that will help boost the economy and add billions to the GDP.  Unfortunately, rather that work with President Obama to fix America’s broken system, the GOP has chosen to obstruct immigration solutions in the Congress and the Courts—even at the expense of our nation’s national security.  In the meantime DREAMers and parents of U.S. citizens should not be deterred; they should continue to prepare to apply for DAPA and DACA by collecting documents and saving money for government filing fees.  Despite the temporary delay, the President’s immigration actions will move forward once the appellate courts reverse this erroneous decision.”

Mark Heller, Senior AttorneyAdvocates for Basic Legal Equality (Toledo, OH)

Contact: 419-930-2423 or mheller@ablelaw.org

Quote: “The executive branch has the authority to decide priorities for immigration enforcement, just like they have discretion in criminal enforcement.  This fact is unassailable.  The Administration’s actions are a way to prioritize decisions within the system while awaiting congressional action.  It’s better to know who’s in the country and incorporate them into legal networks – driver’s licenses, taxes, community responsibilities – than keeping them underground.”

Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director, America’s Voice (Cleveland, OH)

Contact: Katy Green at katy@newpartners.com or 650-464-1545

Quote: “The fate of these policies resides with the courts, and with judges who decide to be judges rather than judicial activists.  The law is on our side and we are confident that one day soon, immigrants meeting these criteria will be able to come forward and get into the system.  But Ohio’s leaders who signed on to this case need to remember that their partisan political games are not just abstract debates fought out in courtrooms.  They have real-life consequences for real Ohioans, sowing confusion and bringing added uncertainty to the lives of Americans whose parents happen to be undocumented.  They are dashing the dreams of Ohioans who have lived here since infancy, for thirty years or more, and know no other home.  Why pursue such a cruel, and clearly deficient, legal case?  Why put Party over people?  Attorney General DeWine and Governor Kasich should be ashamed of themselves and remove Ohio from this offensive lawsuit immediately.”  

Carol Apaestegui, Ohio DREAMer (Northeast Ohio)

Contact: Katy Green at katy@newpartners.com; 650-464-1545

Quote: “DAPA and the DACA extension are not only beneficial to the recipients, but also to their communities. Those opposing these excecutive actions should stop and think about all of the American citizen children who need their parents, all the immigrant families that live here and love and contribute to this country, and all the immigrants who have tried everything to fix their status but can’t due to our broken immigration system. It’s time to stop playing political games and realize that every halt to President Obama’s executive action affects more lives than it helps.”

DREAMer Manny Bartsch and other immigrants and community leaders are also available to talk about the case.

For more information on the lawsuit and Ohio’s involvement, see: