Rep. Lofgren, Sen. Menendez Announce Bicameral Amicus Brief in support of SCOTUS Case for Immigration Executive Actions

December 4, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D- CA19) were joined by 216 members of Congress in filing an amicus brief in support of the Supreme Court granting review of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in United States v. Texas, et al,. The amicus makes the case that President's November 2014 actions to allow certain immigrant parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to come out of the shadows, register with the government, and work without fear of deportation and expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program fully comports with immigration law and the U.S. Constitution.

The brief provides an authoritative account of the legislative history and intent which confirm the executive actions taken by the Obama Administration are within the broad discretion statutorily granted to the Executive by Congress to determine how best to enforce our nation's immigration laws.

The members outline the imperative of implementing the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs, and urge the Supreme Court to reverse the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision and vacate the preliminary injunction blocking the new programs from being implemented.  The members "regard the actions of the Executive invalidated by the Court of Appeals as appropriate measures to focus the Department of Homeland Security's limited enforcement resources on the removal of those unauthorized immigrants who pose threats to public safety."

"The impact of the court of appeals' decision on the millions of individuals who might be eligible for deferred action under the Secretary's initiative—and their U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident (LPR) children—would be reason enough for this Court to grant review of that decision." The members wrote. "Congress understands that the Executive is often better positioned to determine how to adjust quickly to changing circumstances in a complex field, particularly one, like immigration, involving law-enforcement and national-security concerns. Given their institutional responsibility, amici would not, of course, support Executive efforts to exercise unfettered discretion at odds with duly enacted federal statutes.  But where Congress has chosen to vest in the Executive discretionary authority to determine how a law should be enforced, and the Executive has acted pursuant to that authority, amici have a strong interest in ensuring that federal courts honor Congress's deliberate choice by sustaining the Executive's action…The significance of this case to Congress's ability to ensure rational, effective, and efficient enforcement of federal law by executive agencies cannot be overstated."

The amicus brief was signed by a total of 34 Senators, and 184 members of the House of Representatives.

Download a copy of the amicus brief here.  

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