Brief Filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Asks Court to Lift Block on Expanded DACA and DAPA

LAS VEGAS, NV – President Obama’s immigration actions would allow millions of immigrants to apply for relief from deportation and work authorization, and would improve the nation’s economy and society, civil and immigrants’ rights groups argue in an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief filed today. This brief was one of several filed in support of the Obama administration’s immigration actions, which economists predict will raise the nation’s GDP by more than $200 billion over the next ten years.

In opposing the President’s actions, the Nevada attorney general thrust Nevadans into this unnecessary, harmful, and anti-family legal battle. “This amicus brief uniquely emphasizes both the human impact of the President’s immigration actions and the significant harm caused by postponing implementation. The ACLU of Nevada is proud to join other likeminded voices in support of Dreamers and their families ” said Amy Rose, legal director.  

“Nevada stood to gain $21 million under the expanded DACA/DAPA programs, but unless this lawsuit is defeated, we only end up destroying dreams and fragmenting families,” said Tod Story, executive director.

On February 17, 2015, a federal district court blocked implementation of the president’s initiative to expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), under which certain immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children can apply for protection from deportation and work authorization. The court also blocked implementation of a second initiative that would allow certain immigrant parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to apply for protection from deportation and work authorization (known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA.)

The groups that filed the amicus brief argue that delays in implementing the two initiatives will harm the nation’s economy and prevent aspiring Americans from participating more fully in their communities. The brief features profiles of small business owners, primary breadwinners, and social activists who would be able to increase their economic and societal contributions if granted the relief proposed by DACA and DAPA.

Among those profiled are Rosalva and Fidel, parents of three U.S. citizen children, one of whom recently completed basic training with the U.S. National Guard. Rosalva, a small business owner, would be able to operate her business and move about her Indiana community without fear of deportation if she were granted DAPA.

Here in Nevada, Deisy Hernandez works as an outreach coordinator for the ACLU of Nevada. As a “Dreamer,” Deisy applied for DACA was approved, and now works to educate members of Nevada’s communities about how to be involved in the public policy process. Her story was featured on our blog here: https://www.aclu.org/blog/immigrants-rights/stepping-out-shadows

Deisy’s mother, however, is left in the shadows and is unable to openly contribute to the country in which she lives. Implementation of DAPA recognizes Deisy's mother’s humanity and allows her to live a life free of fear.

Today’s filings are the latest legal step in Texas, et al. v. United States, et al., the 27-state challenge to the administration’s immigration actions. On April 17, the Fifth Circuit will hear oral argument in a request for emergency stay of the lower court’s injunction. If granted, the emergency stay would allow the U.S. government to begin implementation of the DAPA and “expanded DACA” initiatives.

To read the brief, visit https://aclunv.org/files/Amicus%20Brief%20-%20NILC_SEIU.pdf

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