AILA Public Statements, Advocacy & Media

AILA Urges Supreme Court to Affirm Constitutionality of Executive Branch Immigration Powers

1/19/16 AILA Doc. No. 16011900. DACA, Removal & Relief
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomes the Supreme Court's decision to take up Texas vs. US — a case which could decide whether the valid exercise of federal constitutional power over immigration can be blocked by a single state.

"This is an incredibly important moment in the history of immigration reform. The executive branch authority to establish these practices is clearly within the president's constitutional power and should be affirmed," said Victor Nieblas Pradis, President of AILA. "The stakes in this case are momentous and whatever the final ruling will be it will go far beyond immigration. No single state should be empowered to thwart the federal government's nationwide policy decisions. The consequences of the Supreme Court's decision will be profound."

In November 2014, President Obama announced a series of immigration policy decisions after Congress failed to pass comprehensive legislation to fix the nation's broken immigration system. Among them, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA, would lift the threat of deportation against more than 4 million immigrants who are considered the lowest priority for deportation- parents of U.S. citizens who had no criminal record. Those eligible would be given temporary reprieve from deportation and have the opportunity to apply for work permits.

A group of states, led by Texas, contended he exceeded his presidential powers under the U.S. Constitution and a federal district court judge issued an order blocking DAPA on procedural grounds. A 2-1 decision by a court of appeals panel affirmed the injunction. The Supreme Court has now agreed to hear the case, and a decision is expected in June.

"A decision made in President Obama's favor would give his administration about seven months to try to roll out the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program and the new DAPA initiative," said Nieblas Pradis.

Note: This release has been updated to remove erroneous information about the original DACA program.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.