Washington, D.C. (March 17, 2016) — The House of Representatives on Thursday passed H.Res. 639, a resolution authorizing the Speaker of the House to file an amicus curiae on behalf of the entire House of Representatives in the matter of the United States v. Texas.
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive orders that would defer deportation for approximately 4.7 million aspiring Americans living in the U.S. The largest initiatives included an expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. The implementation of both programs has been suspended until ongoing litigation is resolved. On March 8, 2016, Rep. Chu joined 185 other Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 39 Members of the U.S. Senate, in their individual capacities as Members of Congress, to file an amicus brief in support of the President’s executive action programs.
In January of this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas, a challenge to the President’s executive actions on immigration known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and CAPAC Chair Emeritus Rep. Mike Honda (CA-17) released the following statements:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“Today’s actions are unprecedented and unwarranted. With over 11 million undocumented immigrants forced into the shadows, I have fought for years for immigration reform that will keep families together and bolster our economy. But congressional Republicans repeatedly refused to act – even when a bipartisan majority agreed on the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill. That is why I was overjoyed when President Obama announced an expansion of the already successful DACA program and created the new DACA program. I was encouraged when the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in U.S. v. Texas, the ongoing case that has stopped these executive actions from going into effect. But sadly, Republicans are instead choosing to stand in the way again.
“Immigrants are living, working, and laying deep roots in our communities, and they should be able to continue to do so without fear of being separated from their families at a moment’s notice. The security offered by DACA and DAPA means eligible families – including nearly 400,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders – can continue to contribute, growing our economy. That is why these actions have the backing of about 120 mayors from cities all across the country who know how important immigrant families are to the fabric of our society. By supporting this resolution, congressional Republicans are positioning themselves in opposition to these values. Allowing aspiring Americans to continue to work and contribute without fear is the right thing to do morally, economically, and legally. And, despite the Republicans’ amicus brief, I am confident that the Supreme Court will uphold President Obama’s actions as lawful uses of executive discretion.”
Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Chair Emeritus:
“America has always been a land of immigrants. After being imprisoned because my parents were immigrants, no one knows that better than me. We build our country not just with people who are born here, but with those who make the difficult emotional and physical journey to come to America for a new life. Today, we voted to use taxpayer funds to speak against those immigrants, many of whom are kids who don’t know any other country. I voted against allowing Speaker Ryan to support the repeal of DACA and DAPA, because immigrants built this nation, and I want them to keep doing so.”
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.