Pelosi, Reid, 223 Members of House and Senate File Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Supporting President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration


Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and 223 additional Members of Congress today filed an Amicus Brief today before the U.S. Supreme Court that underscores President Obama’s common-sense Immigration Executive Actions are authorized by existing laws passed by the Congress of the United States.

“President Obama’s Immigration Executive Actions fall well within the legal and Constitutional precedents set by every Democratic and Republican president since Eisenhower,” said Leader Pelosi and Senator Reid.  “In fact, in the absence of Congressional action, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush themselves took bold action to protect the spouses and children of people who received status under the IRCA of 1986.”

“Republicans’ breathtaking obstruction has perpetuated an utterly broken immigration system that tears families apart, dishonors our values as Americans, and fails to meet the needs of our country.  By and large, we are a nation of immigrants and the vast majority of families who would benefit from these programs include American citizens.  We should embrace their contributions,” continued Leader Pelosi and Senator Reid.  “We are confident the Supreme Court will recognize the legality and necessity of the President’s actions to help bring our immigration system back into line with the values and needs of our country.”

A total of 186 House Democrats and 39 Senate Democrats, including Leader Pelosi and Senator Reid, will file the Amicus Brief.  The implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which were announced on November 2014, is temporarily blocked following a lawsuit by Texas and 25 states.  To qualify to temporarily stay in the United States under both programs, an immigrant would have to register with the government and pass a criminal background check.

The brief makes the case that “Congress … encouraged the Executive to focus its resources in a rational and effective manner on cases in which the Nation’s interest in removal is strongest, to provide the maximum return on Congress’s sizeable but necessarily finite investment in immigration enforcement.”

“As representatives of diverse communities across the United States, amici have witnessed how an approach to enforcement of the immigration laws that does not focus on appropriate priorities undermines confidence in those laws, wastes resources, and needlessly divides families, thereby exacting a severe human toll,” the lawmakers note in the brief.

Full text of the amicus brief can be found here.