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CAPAC Disappointed by Supreme Court Decision in US v. Texas
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court released a 4-4 decision in United States v. Texas, the legal challenge to President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs. The deadlock ruling upholds an injunction by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to block the implementation of these programs. However, the ruling does not affect the original DACA program launched in June 2012. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“I am extremely disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to deny temporary relief to millions of immigrant families, including hundreds of thousands of Asians and Pacific Islanders who will continue to live in constant fear of being separated from their loved ones. Our country benefits greatly from the contributions of aspiring Americans who work, go to school, start businesses, volunteer, and are integrally woven into the fabric of our society. And yet, because of our broken immigration system, millions are forced to live in fear that any day, parents could be separated from their children, or children could be deported to a country they’ve never known. That is why President Obama’s executive actions were so necessary in the wake of Congressional inaction to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
“Despite today’s setback, the fight is not over. I remain confident that this case will come before the Supreme Court again. And as Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I will continue to fight until we achieve a permanent solution through comprehensive immigration reform.”
Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI):
“In 2014, President Obama gave hope to millions of workers and families by expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which has helped over 700,000 people come out of the shadows since its creation in 2012, and establishing the Deferred Action for Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. Last year, a federal court challenge led by Texas halted these programs and today the lives of up to five million people remain on hold as the Supreme Court deadlocked and was unable to resolve the situation.
“Deadlock at the Court, and deadlock in Congress, are denying hope and opportunity to millions of people. This is not how our government is supposed to work. I will continue speaking out and fighting as hard as I can to give those people in the shadows hope, and to see that the Supreme Court be returned to full strength, and that Congress finally pass real, comprehensive immigration reform legislation.”
Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair:
“I am disappointed that the tie in the Court leaves millions of families under constant threat of being forcibly broken up and young residents facing deportation from the only homes they have ever known. I am hopeful that the President’s actions will eventually be upheld, letting millions of our immigrant friends and neighbors come out of the dark and become full members of our society. Meanwhile, I will continue to urge the Administration to stop tearing families apart and to fight in Congress for comprehensive immigration reform. This is the right thing for us to do for our nation’s economy and to uphold our American values."
Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Whip:
“I am deeply disappointed in today’s 4-4 ruling from the Supreme Court in the case of U.S. v. Texas. This deadlock means that millions of families will continue to live with the constant fear and threat of being separated through deportation. President Obama’s plan to expand DACA and create DAPA would bring millions out of the shadows, strengthening our communities, our economy, and our nation. We cannot and will not stop fighting to fix our broken immigration system.”
Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34):
“As the son of immigrants, I know first-hand how our country serves as a beacon of hope, opportunity, and freedom for millions people across the country. The Court’s deadlocked decision on expanded DACA and DAPA means that millions of hardworking people in America, who have worked to build our country up, might be separated from their loved ones. The Department of Justice should seek a rehearing before a full Court. We won’t stop fighting for immigrant rights and we won’t stop fighting to keep families together.”
Congressman Ami Bera (CA-07):
“I’m very disappointed that the Supreme Court struck down the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals expansions (DACA+) program, both of which reflect common-sense immigration laws. There’s no doubt that the United States needs an immigration policy that makes our country safe and our economy strong. Now more than ever, Democrats and Republicans must work together to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill that secures our borders, allows our economy to grow, and ensures accountability for new American immigrants. I will continue to work with all levels of government in any way I can to achieve a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that addresses the immigration issues we face.”
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):
“The 4-4 decision from the Supreme Court today in U.S. v Texas is a disappointing outcome that will tear more families apart. The 4 million people living in limbo deserve better from our judicial system. Now more than ever, Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform! We owe these families a humane, permanent solution so they can stay together in the country they call home.”
Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33):
“I am deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s 4-4 deadlock decision on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. DACA and DAPA are common sense steps towards fixing our broken immigration system. We cannot continue to tear families apart and spew hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric. America has met great challenges in the past, and it is time we work together to protect our borders, take action to effectively address the status of millions of undocumented immigrants, and continue to nurture the spirit of inclusiveness that makes our nation the greatest in the world.”
Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06):
“Today’s split Supreme Court decision on immigration is a setback for millions of families trying to live with dignity and without fear. Despite today’s outcome, we will move forward, and remain committed to fighting for hardworking families and the daily contributions they make to our great nation.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06):
“The Supreme Court’s deadlock is a blow to millions of undocumented immigrants who will now be forced to remain in the shadows, and it’s a setback in our efforts to achieve any type of meaningful immigration reform. I am very concerned about the impact this will have on families staying together, and the fear that many hard working immigrants will experience about deportation. I believe that President Obama acted within his authority and I applaud him for taking action. The deadlock highlights the need to fill the Supreme Court’s vacancy, and I renew my call for Senate GOP leaders to hold a vote on Merrick Garland. Despite this disappointing news, our fight is far from over. We will continue to push ahead – regardless of how long it takes – until we finally fix our broken immigration system.”
Congressman Mark Takai (HI-01):
“Today’s decision is step back for immigrant families across the nation. We should be helping families stay together, not tearing them apart. Not only does this decision force millions of families to live with continued uncertainty, it also illustrates the importance of having 9 Justices on the Supreme Court. This tie shows exactly why we need a full bench; Americans deserve better.”
Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-03):
“Today’s 4-4 Supreme Court ruling allows a flawed injunction against the expansion of DACA and DAPA to stand, leaving vulnerable people all across the country to continue suffering under an immigration system that splinters families and betrays our values. The silver lining is that a 4-4 tie is not precedent setting, and I hope that the Court revisits this vital issue with the urgency it deserves. But this does emphasize why the Republican refusal to confirm a ninth Supreme Court justice is so toxic to our legal system and our society. We are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws, and both of those facts are betrayed by a political party that undermines the integrity of our highest court and attacks our president’s legal efforts to help aspiring Americans. I appreciate President Obama’s efforts to act where Republicans wouldn’t, but in light of this ruling, he must redouble his efforts to ensure innocent families do not continue to suffer. I will continue to work with this administration and the next to create a common sense immigration process once and for all.”
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47):
“Today’s Supreme Court announcement is a disappointment to the millions of families across our country living in uncertainty and fear of being separated. I will not let this setback weaken my commitment to advocating for comprehensive immigration reform that keeps families together and fixes our broken immigration system.”
Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32):
“We are extremely disappointed the Supreme Court has been tainted by politics as usual, thanks to the overreach by one district court judge and the partisan obstruction of Republicans in Congress. The Court has failed the American people, and our communities will continue to suffer as a result. This illustrates exactly what is at stake when politicians play games with the nation’s highest court and why the Supreme Court vacancy must be filled. It is critical to note that today’s erroneous outcome does not impact DACA 2012, which was not at issue in this case. My Democratic colleagues and I remain committed to building on that progress we have made, embracing the contributions of more than 730,000 young DREAMers. Today’s setback is heartbreaking, but it will not deter us from fighting to ensure all immigrants can live in dignity, without fear of being separated from their families.”
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46):
“I’m deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s split decision on U.S. v. Texas which sustains Texas state officials’ harmful politically motivated challenge. Our unjust and broken immigration system has forced millions of families into the shadows. We are a nation of immigrants: uniting and keeping our families together is an integral American value. We should be protecting the stability of our hard-working immigrant families instead of tearing them apart. Immigrants, regardless of legal status, deserve justice and dignity. Comprehensive immigration reform is the moral imperative of our time and our hard-working immigrant families have waited long enough for Congress to act.”
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09):
“I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s ruling today resulting in a deadlock decision on the President’s executive actions on immigration. Millions of U.S. citizens with undocumented parents and DREAMers will now face uncertainty in their future and may see their families torn apart. Failure on the part of Republican leadership is what forced the President to act. I call on Congress to take action and pass a permanent comprehensive immigration bill and reform our broken system. We cannot afford to wait any longer to reform our immigration system and bring relief to millions of children and families.”
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive orders that would defer deportation for approximately 4.7 million aspiring Americans living in the U.S. The largest initiatives included an expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. The expanded DACA program extends DACA eligibility to those who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, regardless of their current age, and who have lived in U.S. continuously since January 1, 2010. The DAPA program allows parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, provided they have lived in the U.S .continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required background checks. Those programs were halted by an injunction that was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in May of 2015.
Leading up to the President’s executive actions, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) met with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson, DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and senior White House aides, Cecilia Munoz and Neil Eggleston, to discuss the need to prioritize family unity in immigration reform. A copy of CAPAC’s executive action recommendations to Secretary Jeh Johnson can be found here.
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.