Texas v. U.S.: Federal District Court’s Decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2015

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, delatorre@nilc.org

NILC: Texas Decision Falls Far Outside Legal Mainstream

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS — A federal district court today blocked the implementation of the immigration initiatives announced by President Obama last year, which would allow millions of immigrants to come forward and apply for deportation relief and work authorization.

The first phase of initiatives, which affect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, is scheduled to be implemented beginning February 18. Applications for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) initiative is scheduled to go into effect in May. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Today’s decision brought the court far outside the legal mainstream and away from public opinion, which supports the step President Obama took toward finally beginning to fix our dysfunctional immigration system.

“Questions about the legality of President Obama’s actions on immigration have already beenaddressed in other courts, and state claims like the ones upheld today have already been rejected. Today’s decision overlooked sound legal reasoning and precedent, and, if not reversed, threatens to keep millions of aspiring Americans from coming forward to apply for much-needed reprieves from deportation and work authorization.

“Fortunately, this decision represents only a temporary setback. We urge the Department of Justice to act swiftly to ask the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse this court’s decision to block the immigration initiatives. Failure to do so will confuse potentially eligible immigrants and undermine the success of these initiatives.

“Opponents’ declarations of victory today are premature. We are confident that the courts will ultimately side with the scores of legal experts, state leaders, city officials, and law enforcement leaders who say that these immigration initiatives are both in full compliance with law and deeply beneficial to our communities, society, and country. In the meantime, we will only strengthen our resolve to prepare for the moment when immigrant families can come forward and apply for the opportunity to contribute more fully to the country they have made their home.

“This decision will undoubtedly raise concerns for immigrant communities anxiously awaiting the day they can come out of the shadows. They should continue preparing for implementation by gathering documents that serve as proof of their eligibility, saving money for application expenses, and staying informed. It won’t be long before eligible immigrants will be able to live without the fear of deportation while working lawfully and contributing to their families and communities. That will be a good day for our country.”

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