WASHINGTON, D.C., April 18, 2016 – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in the United States v. Texas case, reviewing two Obama administration programs – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), issued the following statement:
“U.S. v. Texas is one of the most important cases before the Supreme Court this term,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “President Obama’s executive actions stand to benefit millions of people and countless families, including many immigrants from African and Caribbean countries – people who work hard and contribute to the health and vitality of our nation. Most importantly, the president’s executive actions would enable people who have been living in our country and seeking relief from the fear of deportation to come out of the shadows.”
There are an estimated 3.7 million people in the U.S. who would be eligible to apply for DAPA and expanded DACA, if both programs were allowed to go into effect. Through these programs, undocumented parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and children of undocumented immigrants, would be provided legal protection from deportation, and qualified undocumented persons would be provided the opportunity seek work authorization. Without these protections, undocumented parents face deportation and separation from their children behind, and are also more vulnerable to wage theft and abuse in the work place.