Twenty-two states file briefs in support of Texas immigration lawsuit

By Alan Goforth | Apr 11, 2016

AUSTIN – Twenty-two states have filed amicus briefs with the U.S.

AUSTIN – Twenty-two states have filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Texas lawsuit against the Obama Administration over executive action on immigration. The briefs include input from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other governors; U.S. senators and representatives; former U.S. attorneys general; federal court scholars; and others.

Last November, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit became the third federal court to rule in favor of Texas. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on April. 18. Separation of powers is the crux of the argument, said Ken Paxton, Texas attorney general.

“The Obama Administration has consistently demonstrated disregard for the rule of law in asserting that it has the legal authority to unilaterally change the immigration policy of the United States,” he said “Rewriting national immigration law requires the full and careful consideration of Congress, not the political will and assertion of one person. As the president himself said numerous times, he alone does not have the authority to grant millions of unauthorized aliens a host of benefits, including work authorization.”

The brief cites four questions:

• Whether DAPA is reviewable agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

• Whether DAPA violates immigration and related benefits statutes, when Congress has created detailed criteria for which aliens may be lawfully present, work and receive benefits in this country.

• Whether DAPA is subject to the APA's notice-and-comment requirement.

• Whether the guidance violates the take care clause of the Constitution.

"This case is about an unprecedented, sweeping assertion of executive power," according to the brief. "This case is not about the wisdom of particular immigration policies; legislators have disagreed on whether immigration statutes should be amended. But when Congress has established certain conduct as unlawful, the separation of powers does not permit the executive to unilaterally declare that conduct lawful."

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin have joined Texas in the lawsuit.

“These amicus briefs represent the growing national opposition to the Obama Administration’s unilateral action," Paxton said. "No president has the power to override the will of the people as vested in our Constitution, and I look forward to taking this case before the highest court later this month on behalf of 26 states."

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