By JACL Staff
Washington, D.C. – The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the largest and oldest Asian American civil rights organization in the nation, expresses disappointment with the recent ruling in Texas, et al v. United States.
On February 16th, a federal district court in Texas ruled to temporarily block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration nationwide in Texas, et al. v. United States, the 26-state lawsuit challenging the immigration initiatives announced by President Obama in November of last year. The lawsuit alleged that the President overstepped his constitutional authority, and that states would be burdened by the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative and the creation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program.
Priscilla Ouchida, Executive Director, said, “I am disappointed by the decision of the Court to enjoin the DACA and DAPA initiatives. This decision has a chilling effect on the dreams of hard-working families and students, and is a step backwards from the progress made in November to provide reforms to our immigration system. JACL supports efforts to move past this suspension that will interrupt the implementation of much-needed policies to ensure family stability and economic growth.”
In the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, an estimated 1.3 million people are undocumented. Half a million of that number are now temporarily blocked from expanded deportation relief: the DACA youth who were brought to the United States as children, often called DREAMers, and undocumented immigrant parents of citizen-children or legal residents who could defer deportation under the DAPA program.
The U. S. Department of Justice will appeal the decision, and the Obama administration has argued that states lack the legal standing to challenge the immigration order in court. A temporary request to stay the injunction is likely to be filed by the Department of Justice pending a full appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. If the stay is granted, the DACA and DAPA programs will be able to resume nationwide.