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Alex Katz
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akatz@oaklandcityattorney.org

 

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News from:
City Attorney Barbara J. Parker

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2016

Statement by Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review Texas v. United States:

“I am very pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Obama Administration’s request that the high court review Texas v. United States – a lawsuit led by Republican governors that has blocked implementation of the President’s important executive actions on immigration.

At stake are President Obama’s 2014 executive actions offering protection from deportation and work permits to millions of immigrants who have been living in the U.S. for at least five years, have no criminal records and have a child who is a citizen or permanent resident.

I signed onto three amicus (friend of court) briefs in the lower federal courts on behalf of the City of Oakland supporting the President’s actions, which are squarely within his executive authority and discretion to establish enforcement priorities and procedures.

Cities and counties across the country have joined together to support President Obama’s actions, which ultimately will help millions of families across the country and benefit cities and counties by providing work authorization to millions, increasing local tax revenue, stimulating local economies, facilitating the civic engagement of immigrants, keeping families together and improving public safety by strengthening our neighborhoods and communities.

The challenge to these just and equitable reforms is nothing more than the anti-immigrant posturing that has come to define one of our country’s major political parties. A path to citizenship for immigrant families has been a founding ideal of our country from the beginning. The President’s actions honor this ideal by protecting law-abiding members of our communities who are contributing to our nation and working to make a better life for their children.

Regardless of the outcome of this case, we must change the status quo that forces so many of our neighbors, friends and family members to live on the margins of society. Texas’ lawsuit has delayed justice for countless families, but it ultimately cannot block progress on this important national issue.”

Background:

In 2014, President Obama issued executive actions offering protection from deportation and work permits to millions of immigrants who have been living in the U.S. for at least five years, have no criminal records and have a child who is a citizen or permanent resident.

In late 2014, Texas and other states led by Republican governors filed a lawsuit (Texas v. United States) challenging the reform efforts, arguing that the president has a constitutional duty to enforce existing immigration laws. A federal judge in Brownsville, Texas issued a preliminary injunction to block reforms pending the outcome of the legal proceedings. The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the District Court’s ruling in November 2015.

Oakland is part of Cities for Action, a coalition of nearly 100 cities and counties that has filed three friend-of-the-court briefs at each stage of the litigation in support of implementing the President’s executive actions on immigration. The coalition intends to file another amicus brief to provide the Supreme Court Justices with the perspective of cities and counties that represent 47 million people across the country.

The coalition’s briefs argue that the District Court judge’s injunction is bad for the economy, hurts families, threatens law enforcement priorities and stalls desperately needed changes to the federal government’s immigration policies. The briefs demonstrate robust support from the country’s largest cities, suburbs and rural areas for the President’s reforms.

Today the coalition released the following statement: "We are pleased that the Supreme Court has decided to review the Texas v. United States case, which will hopefully create a pathway for implementation of the President's executive actions on immigration. The wheels of justice have been stuck in neutral for hundreds of thousands of immigrant families for far too long. Cities and counties are where immigrants live, and it is our residents, communities, and economies that will reap the benefits from these policies. Cities and counties are united, and we will fight for immigration reform in the courtroom, in Congress, and in our communities. As this legal challenge moves forward, our voices will continue to be heard."

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