Law Enforcement Amicus Defending Deferred Action

January 12, 2015

Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, [email protected]

NILC Lauds Police Chiefs′ Legal Defense of Administration’s Deferred Action Initiative on Immigration

WASHINGTON — The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) lauds the decision of law enforcement leaders to inform the federal court of their perspective in support of President Obama’s executive action on immigration on the grounds that blocking it would negatively impact public safety and make it harder for police to do their jobs.

The law enforcement amicus (“friend-of-the-court”) brief was filed by the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, the Police Executive Research Forum, and 27 law enforcement leaders in the case State of Texas et al v. United States. Texas and 24 other states have filed a lawsuit to block the president’s initiative that would allow eligible parents of U.S.-citizen children and parents of lawful permanent residents to apply for temporary deferral of deportation and work authorization (the president’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA, program). The president’s executive action would also expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.

In their court filing, the police chiefs make two key arguments in favor of the executive action:

“[The] Deferred Action Initiative will improve public safety by encouraging community cooperation with police, an essential element to effective policing and improving public safety … [and] provide individuals with the opportunity to obtain verified and secure identification, which aids law enforcement in carrying out its day to day duties…. [A] preliminary injunction [against the Deferred Action Initiative] would cause significant harms and would injure the public interest.”

NILC staff attorney Melissa Keaney noted that while the executive action is being attacked in the courts by the president’s opponents seeking to score political points, those actions have consequences in all communities.

“No one should play political games with public safety. These law enforcement leaders have stepped forward to say that the deferred action initiative has solid benefits for community policing,” Keaney said. “The courts, the politicians, and the public should heed the warning of police chiefs that an injunction to block the deferred action will hurt efforts of local police to build trust with community members.”

States from across the country also filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the Obama administration today. This bipartisan brief, which was filed by states with the largest immigrant populations, including California, New York, and Washington, emphasizes the economic and societal benefits of implementing DACA and DAPA.

A hearing in the case is set for January 15 in Brownsville, TX. Law enforcement leaders who have joined the amicus include:

• Major Cities Chiefs Association, which is a professional association of chiefs and sheriffs representing the largest cities in the United States, serving more than 68 million people.
• Police Executive Research Forum, which is a national membership organization of police executives from the largest city, county and state law enforcement agencies dedicated to improving policing and advancing professionalism through research and involvement in public policy debate.
• Chief Art Acevedo, City of Austin, Texas, Police Department
• Chief Charlie Beck, Los Angeles, California, Police Department
• Chief Richard S. Biehl, Dayton, Ohio, Police Department
• Chief Chris Burbank, Salt Lake City, Utah, Police Department
• Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr., Lake County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Office
• Sheriff Tony Estrada, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Office
• Commissioner William B. Evans, Boston, Massachusetts, Police Department
• Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Harris County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office
• Sheriff Marlin Gusman, New Orleans Parish, Louisiana, Sheriff’s Office
• Chief James Hawkins, Garden City, Kansas, Police Department
• Chief Dwight Henninger, Vail, Colorado, Police Department
• Chief Michael C. Koval, Madison, Wisconsin, Police Department
• Chief Jose L. Lopez Sr., Durham, North Carolina, Police Department
• Sheriff Leon Lott, Richland County, South Carolina, Sheriff’s Department
• Sheriff Bill McCarthy, Polk County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office
• Chief Roy W. Minter, Jr., Peoria, Arizona, Police Department
• Lieutenant Andy Norris, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office
• Chief Kathleen O’Toole, Seattle, Washington, Police Department
• Commissioner Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Police Department
• Chief Greg Suhr, San Francisco, California, Police Department
• Chief Ron Teachman, South Bend, Indiana, Police Department
• Chief Michael Tupper, Marshalltown, Iowa, Police Department
• Sheriff John Urquhart, King County, Washington, Sheriff’s Office
• Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Dallas County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department
• Chief Roberto Villaseñor, Tucson, Arizona, Police Department
• Chief Robert White, Denver, Colorado, Police Department
• Sheriff Richard D. Wiles, El Paso County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office

The law enforcement amicus brief is available at

# # #