This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending Dec. 19

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Week Ending December 19

This week in immigration reform: NCLR documents a wide range of supporters speaking up for administrative relief; NCLR highlights benefit of executive action to the American worker; and states continue pursuit of stopping President Obama’s action on immigration.

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NCLR collects statements of support for and impact of administrative relief: Since the president announced his action on immigration, NCLR has been working closely with our Affiliates and allies to document how that action is affecting people’s lives. This week we posted a blog quoting the reaction to administrative relief of numerous members of our community. Responses range from California to Illinois to Kentucky. Ofelia from Chicago said, “It means many families will be able to live in peace and without fear. We need to do everything we can to ensure that predators don’t take advantage of this vulnerable population. We commend President Obama for having the courage to do what is right.”

In addition to personal responses, NCLR published a short piece compiling only a handful of the dozens of statements of support for executive action. The document includes quotes from elected officials, business representatives, law enforcement and faith leaders. It also includes an overview of American support for the goals of administrative relief.  This resource and many others continue to be available on our administrative relief webpage.

NCLR’S Catherine Singley Harvey emphasizes the benefit of executive action for American workers: This week NCLR’s program manager for the Economic and Employment Policy Project penned an article in the Huffington Post refuting a previous op-ed’s claims that executive action will harm American workers. Singley Harvey outlines how the country will increase revenue by issuing immigrants temporary work permits, with undocumented workers already contributing $10.6 billion in state and local taxes. Additionally, those eligible for relief are already a part of the American workforce and forcing them to work in the shadows enables exploitation of all workers, regardless of immigration status.

More than 20 states sue over the president’s recent executive action on immigration: The number of states involved in a lawsuit regarding President Obama’s action on immigration grew to 24 this week. The lawsuit contends that executive action is an unlawful unilateral suspension of U.S. immigration policy and violates the “take care” clause of the Constitution. Some are skeptical the states have legal standing to challenge the president’s directives and many law experts have attested to the legality of the president’s action.

It seems this lawsuit is a public relations stunt to hinder any and all action by President Obama. It will waste taxpayer dollars, disenfranchise immigrant families, and deny states much-needed tax revenue. The Center for American Progress wrote a piece further detailing the lawsuit and reiterating the legality of executive action.

Conversely, progress on immigration has been made in Arizona. This week in Brewer v. Arizona Dream Coalition, the Supreme Court refused to block a federal appeals court ruling. Initially, a three-judge panel ruled against Arizona, saying the state lacks a rational basis for barring DACA recipients from getting driver licenses while issuing them to other undocumented immigrants, including people contesting deportation. Arizona since asked the Supreme Court to block that ruling, which they refused to do.