Washington, D.C. (Jan. 19, 2016) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday announced its decision to hear arguments in U.S. v. Texas, the case regarding President Obama’s executive actions to provide temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and eligible parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. The expansion of the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program has been halted due to ongoing litigation. CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair Rep. Mike Honda (CA-17) issued the following statements:
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. On November 9, 2015 the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled 2-1 to uphold a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the President’s deferred deportation programs. The implementation of both programs has been suspended until ongoing litigation is resolved.
Leading up to the President’s executive actions, CAPAC Members met with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson, DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and senior White House aides, Cecilia Munoz and Neil Eggleston, to discuss the need to prioritize family unity in immigration reform. A copy of CAPAC’s executive action recommendations to Secretary Jeh Johnson can be found here.
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“With over 11 million undocumented immigrants forced into the shadows – over one million of whom come from Asia or the Pacific Islands – I have fought for years for immigration reform that will keep families together and bolster our economy. As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I urged the President to use his executive authority to take action after House Republicans stalled legislative efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform last Congress. That is why I was overjoyed when President Obama announced an expansion of the already successful DACA program and created the DAPA program. These actions would enable families to stay together and allow immigrants to continue to work and contribute to our economy with dignity and without the fear of deportation.
“I was disappointed when the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s injunction, but I knew it was only a temporary setback. Allowing these aspiring Americans to continue to work and contribute without fear of deportation or being separated from their families is the right thing to do morally, economically, and legally. I am confident that the Supreme Court will uphold President Obama’s programs as lawful exercises of executive discretion.”
Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair:
“It is an important step for all immigrant communities that the Supreme Court has decided to consider the case on the President’s decision to expand temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants who came here as children and to extend it to undocumented parents of US citizens and legal residents. I am optimistic that the Supreme Court will find that these programs are clearly within the President’s legal authority and recognize their far-reaching effects on the immigrant communities that compose the fabric of our nation. It is past time for millions of undocumented Americans to be able to come out of the shadows.”
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.