DACA Under Siege by Trump and AG Jeff Sessions

Last week, Trump pardoned Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a notorious national symbol of racism who refused court orders to stop his racial profiling in his zealous multi-year campaign of persecution against Latino communities. Now, one week later, Trump is throwing MORE red meat to his anti-immigrant and white supremacist supporters by going after immigrant kids, once again undermining American values in order to feed the bigotry of his extreme base. 

This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced to the world that we, as a nation, can no longer be trusted to keep its word, that our word is no longer our bond. You see, in a stunning act of cruelty even for Trump, he had Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce termination of key parts of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program effective six months from now, upending the lives of 800,000+ young people. That 

DACA recipients – often referred to as DREAMers — were brought to the US as children and for many of them this is the only country they’ve ever really known. Under the DACA program, they registered with the government and passed background checks in exchange for being able to work, pay taxes, and feel secure in their homes without the fear of deportation.

Many on the anti-immigrant Right who have been fighting against DACA since Day One have focused their criticism on the way in which it was done – with an executive order by President Obama. They have claimed that the real problem was just that Congress didn’t pass the law – so now it’s up to Congress to call their bluff and pass the DREAM Act.

Congress needs to act now to protect our investment in their education and assimilation before Trump releases his hordes of ICE thugs to begin deportation of DREAMers as their 2-yr authorizations come up for  renewals. And we even have a head start, because the bill already has bipartisan support!

Congress can undo this outrage by passing the DREAM Act of 2017, which would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other young undocumented immigrants who graduate from US high schools and attend college, enter the workforce, or enlist in a military program.

In the Senate, the DREAM Act is sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) … we need to demand that the Senate make this bipartisan bill a priority, to get relief to the DREAMers who need it.

Petition:  << Tell Congress to PASS the DREAM Act of 2017 without delay! >>

Or, better yet, take a moment from your day and call or write your members of Congress and ask them to expedite bringing the Dream Act of 2017 [ House bill#:  H.R.3440 / Senate bill#: S.1615 ] to the floor for a vote AND to vote for its passage:

Trump Set to Deport Dreamers to Appease His Supremacist Base

A Note from Senator Catherine Cortez Masto —

Last month, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of President Obama’s landmark Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program granted hundreds of thousands of young people the opportunity to come out of the shadows and pursue the American Dream.

Dreamers are our soldiers, engineers, teachers and the future of this great nation. They embody everything we stand for as a country. But right now, DACA is under grave threat, and Dreamers are anxious about their future. Anti-immigrant attorneys general are threatening to sue the Trump administration if he doesn’t end DACA – and recent reports suggest Trump is finally about to follow through with his disgraceful campaign pledge to end the program. Now, more than ever, we need to stand up and defend these inspiring young men and women!

More than 12,000 DACA recipients call Nevada home, and I have been fortunate enough to spend time with many of them. They are fighters. They never give up. These young people were brought to our country as children, and for many of them, America is the only place they’ve ever called home. But now, they face constant uncertainty about their futures. This is wrong. We should be helping them live up to their full potential.

Not only is rescinding this program un-American, it is economically unsound. Deporting nearly 800,000 DACA beneficiaries would cost our economy at least $433 billion over the next 10 years. That’s not an economic policy we should embrace.

Welcoming immigrants is an American tradition. We should not be tearing families apart and inciting fear and discrimination. Dreamers are our loved ones, our friends, our neighbors, and we must protect them.

Thank you for standing up for these extraordinary young people.

¡La lucha sigue! 
The fight continues!


Got a Twitter account?  Tweet your demands to respect and protect DACA to: @POTUS, @realDonaldTrump, @VP, @MarkAmodeiNV2, @SenDeanHeller

If You’re Against Immigrants, You’re Against My Grandma

Many good kids — with the same American dreams my grandparents had — now fear being exiled to a land alien to them.
— by Mitchell Zimmerman

One day in a Latvian town more than 100 years ago, when my grandmother wasn’t much more than a girl, she heard that the czar’s “recruiters” were coming to conscript men into the Russian army for 20-year terms.

Two days before they came, a handsome young man she’d known only slightly told her he was going to America instead, and asked her to come along as his bride. She agreed.

Their travels weren’t wholly lawful. Lacking proper papers to enter Germany, where they planned to embark on a steamer to New York, they were smuggled across the border at night, in a cart.

Some 40-odd years later, when I was a small child, my mother would take me to Brooklyn to visit them. I recall grandma as a short, ancient grownup, her face square and her cheeks jowly. Despite having lived in New York for decades, she still spoke little English — only enough to make halting jokes. I don’t think she ever became a citizen.

She and grandpa faced hardship and discrimination. They’d been called “kikes” and “Jew bastards.” They’d been asked, “Why don’t you go back where you came from?”

New York’s Ellis Island, circa 1900. (Photo: NIAID / Flickr)

But they stayed, and their children and grandchildren — including my brother, a journalist, and myself, a lawyer — climbed the ladder to success.

My grandparents come to mind when I meet my young friend — “Jesús,” let’s call him, a pro bono client.

Jesús, too, is an immigrant. But he recalls little of coming to America, and less of Mexico, his birthplace. He was only 7 when his mother, hoping for a better life and lacking proper papers, carried him here.

Jesús grew up in East Palo Alto, California — a small city not far geographically from the prosperity of Silicon Valley, but a world away socio-economically. Plagued by poverty, drugs, and crime, the town was once the murder capital of America.

When he reached high school, Jesús found himself behind the kids from the richer towns. But he enrolled in the school’s computer science track, applied himself, and ultimately won a nationwide “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” competition.

The school offered him little guidance about a path to college, but he found his own mentors. Eventually, he earned a B.S. from a small local college, paid for by soccer and academic scholarships — and hard work.

Jesús meanwhile devoted himself to diffusing conflicts among Latino and black gangs in violent neighborhoods. “When asked about putting himself in harm’s way,” a counselor informed me, “Jesús said he didn’t want to live in a world where people hate each other based on the color of their skin.”

For some people, this is all irrelevant. All we need to know about Jesús is that he’s “illegal” — and so should be deported.

This would be fundamentally unfair. Jesús, like many others whose parents brought them here, had no say in whether or how he entered the United States. But also like those others, he’s lived an entirely American life.

I assisted Jesús with his ultimately successful application for DACA status.

This Obama-era program (in full, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) offered a little security to youths like Jesús who arrived as children. If they were in school (or graduated) and had no criminal record, they were eligible to remain in the U.S. for a renewable two-year period.

With an anti-immigrant administration coming into office, however, many of these good kids fear being exiled to a land alien to them. I hope Trump has the decency to let them be.

Jesús is now 24 years old and works at a tech start-up. He has an American wife, son, and baby daughter. His aspirations, like my grandparents’ were, are to educate his kids, work hard and prosper, and continue to inspire others to set aside despair and reach for the stars.

How American those ambitions seem to me.


Mitchell Zimmerman is an intellectual property lawyer who devotes much of his practice to pro bono work. Distributed by OtherWords.org.

One Helluva Check On trump

— by Catherine Cortez Masto

CatherineCortezMastoIt’s been almost a month since the election, and I still feel incredibly grateful for everything this team did to help us win. After meeting my future colleagues in the Senate a few weeks ago, I’m more eager than ever to head to Washington and fight for our values.

Our government is built on a system of checks and balances, and I promise you this: I will be one hell of a check and balance on President Donald trump. 

Our fight is one for our future and the America we know it should be. And nobody is going to take that away from us. It is our voices, our mass, our people, and we are going to continue to fight:

  • Hate has no place in the White House. If trump is serious about being a president who brings this country together, he must set an example.
  • Enough with the tax breaks for corporations. Enough with the tax breaks for Big Oil. How about we give a tax break to working families?
  • Dark money is a threat to our political system. Overturning Citizens United is only the first step to ridding politics of money. Climate change is real. We must protect our precious resources, including the air we breathe and the water we drink.
  • Social Security and Medicare are promises. I will oppose any attempts to cut or privatize Social Security and to turn Medicare into a voucher program.
  • Our diversity is our strength. As the first Latina senator, I will use my seat at the table to fight for diversity.
  • Building walls is NOT the answer. We must pass comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. Until we do, I will do everything in my power to keep families together and protect important programs like DACA.
  • We are union strong. Working men and women built this county.
  • The fight for pay equity is not over. Women should earn the same as men for performing the same job.

I am so honored to have been chosen to fight for you in the United States Senate, and we have a lot to fight for. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and be that warrior for you, but I’ll need you standing by me every step of the way.

If you haven’t already, join me on FacebookTwitter and Instagramand then add your name to say you’re all in for the fights ahead.

¡La Lucha Sigue!  The fight continues!

FACT CHECK: Heck on Immigration

factcheckheck

Joe Heck claims he supports DREAMers and Immigration Reform.  However, his actual RECORD shows a different story.

  • Congressman Heck said he opposed the Senate bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill.
  • Congressman Heck said he opposed the DREAM Act.
  • Congressman Heck wants to repeal birthright citizenship.
  • Congressman Heck voted four times to defund DACA and voted in favor of suing the President over his executive actions on immigration.
  • Congressman Heck voted against allowing DREAMers to join the military in exchange for a pathway to citizenship.
  • Congressman Heck praised the Arizona “show your papers” law.
  • Congressman Heck remained silent and continued his support of Donald Trump after Trump called Mexican immigrants “criminals,” “rapists,” and “drug dealers.”

In contrast:

  • Catherine Cortez Masto led 35 Attorneys General in support of comprehensive immigration reform.
  • Catherine Cortez Masto cracked down on and prosecuted Notario fraud and unlicensed medical providers who target immigrant communities and undocumented workers.
  • Catherine Cortez Masto increased funding for victims of sexual and domestic violence, including funds for grants to assist victims petitioning for U-Visas.

Background

  1.  Heck opposed comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate. [KSNV, 7/3/13, Las Vegas Sun, 7/2/13, Reno Gazette-Journal, 7/8/15]
  2. Heck refused to sign discharge petition to force an immigration reform Vote [Reno Gazette-Journal, 4/20/14, Ralston Reports, Jon Ralston, 11/26/13]
  3. Heck voted four times to defund DACA, deport DREAMers [CQ, 1/14/15; HR 240, Vote 29,1/14/15, CQ, 12/4/14; H.R. 5759, Vote 550, 12/4/14, CQ, 6/6/13, H.R. 2217, Vote 208, 6/6/13, CQ, 6/7/12; H.Amdt.1266 to H.R. 5855, Vote 363, 6/7/12, National Journal, 7/6/15]
  4. Heck opposed the DREAM Act. [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1/31/13, Associated Press, 4/8/12]
  5. Heck signed on to sue President Obama over the expansion of DACA and implementation of DAPA. [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1/18/15]
  6. Heck “voted against allowing” DREAMers to join the military. [Defense One, 5/31/15]
  7. Heck: citizenship should not automatically be granted to all U.S.-born children. [Associated Press, 2/4/11, KVVU, 2/2/11]
  8. Immigration Activists Arrested After Protesting Outside Congressman Heck’s Office, Heck Sent Fundraising Email After Immigration Protestors’ Arrest That Said He Would Not be “Bullied Into Amnesty.”  [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 6/16/14, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 6/9/15]
  9. Heck backed an amendment by Steve King to make deporting undocumented youths easier.  [Think Progress, 10/25/13]

Rep Heck’s Refuses to Apologize for Insults

ICYMI: Hispanic Media Coverage Continues of Congressman Heck’s Refusal to Apologize for His Long-Time Aides’ Attacks on Cortez Masto’s Heritage

 


Background

Two former Heck aides, Tom McAllister, Heck’s former political director, and Mark Ciavola, Heck’s former campaign manager, attacked Catherine Cortez Masto’s Mexican heritage on Twitter.

Later, they doubled down and continued their attacks on Facebook, where Ciavola accused Cortez Masto of “hispandering.”

Congressman Heck’s campaign apologized for other offensive comments, but refused to apologize or condemn McAllister or Ciavola’s attacks.


Last week, former Nevada Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto and members of the Latino community held a press conference with leaders and members of the Las Vegas Latino community denouncing the racist and offensive remarks made by Congressman Joe Heck’s long-time trusted advisors, Tom McAllister and Mark Ciavola. Almost a week later, Congressman Heck still has not apologized for their reckless rhetoric. Spanish-language media has covered the incident and the subsequent press conference.

El Diario, La Prensa, La Opinión, La Raza: En Nevada, crece la batalla entre Heck y Cortez Masto por etnicidad y uso de español. (In Nevada, Growing Battle Between Heck and Cortez Masto over Ethnicity and Use of Spanish.) “The former Attorney General has called the idea that she is not Mexican enough because she does not speak Spanish ‘ridiculous,’ while noting that McAllister and Ciavola’s comments offend her and also offend many Mexican Americans who have contributed to the state.”

La Opinión: Trump Used to Attack Nevada Republican Senate Candidate

Rocío Sáenz, Vice President of SEIU, said in an interview that “Nevada voters are going to take an very important decision and we want to make sure that it’s clear that Joe Heck is not a friend of the community.” “There is no difference between Heck and Trump,” Sáenz added. “Both have used the same rhetoric and have had similar positions against immigrants and families. Heck has voted four times against DACA and DAPA, and has been against us. Additionally, he supports Trump.”

Telemundo Las Vegas: Carrera por el senado de Nevada se calienta

Racist comments by both Joey Heck, Congressman Joe Heck’s son, and former Heck staffers have tarnished Congressman Joe Heck’s image. Joey’s comments were sexist, racist, and homophobic, while Congressman Heck’s former staffer’s comments were racist and made fun of Catherine Cortez Masto’s Mexican heritage. Cortez Masto said, “Congressman Heck and his allies prefer to attack me – my heritage. This isn’t what this race is about, but we have seen that has happened constantly from Donald Trump, and up to now the ballot, and Congressman Heck refuses to denounce him.” The Heck campaign published a release apologizing for his son’s behavior.

Fusion: She’ll be the first Latina senator…if Latinx voters can rally to send her to Washington

The former political director for the Republican candidate running for senate has questioned Cortez Masto’s Mexican-American cred. The former aide tweeted: “quick question does @CatherineForNV speak Spanish?” Cortez Masto dismisses those questions as offensive. “Not just offensive to me, but it’s offensive to many Mexican-Americans, particularly in the state of Nevada where they have worked so hard and have provided so many contributions to our state and our communities.” …Spanish-speaking supporters of Cortez Masto say it doesn’t matter if she speaks Spanish. “Who cares if she doesn’t speak Spanish? Some people use their Spanish to deceive us,” says Fermin Ramirez, a musician and local church leader…

Metro Noticias Las Vegas: Redoblan ataques del legado mexicano de Cortez Masto. (Joe Heck Aides Double Down on Disparagement of Cortez Masto’s Mexican Heritage.)

 

###

Supreme Court on DACA Tied 4/4 (Updated)

SupremeCourt

The Republican Congress has done everything possible to NOT to address effective and efficient Immigration Reform legislation.  And to assure that NOTHING happens, 113 Republicans chose to use our limited tax dollars to sue the President for attempting to take whatever action he can constitutionally take to resolve the situation that our current Immigration system finds itself in today.  21 red-state Republicans have also jumped into the fray to challenge the legality of President Obama’s DACA/DAPA actions.  Nevada’s own Rep. Joe Heck may talk a good story and may not have voted to “deport Dreamers,” but he’s done relatively nothing to resolve
immigrations issues and has in fact, voted to defund implementation of a presidential executive order called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA].

DACA and DAPA [Deferred Action for Parents of Americans] are  two programs outlined in Presidential Executive Orders issued in 2014 that are designed to shield roughly 4 million people from deportation and make them eligible to work in the United States.  They were challenged in Court by Texas, 25 other states, Congressional Republicans and a number of Governors individually.  By strategically filing their suit in right-leaning Federal Court Districts, they were able to get favorable decisions for blocking implementation of those Executive Orders.

That ruling was challenged and the case ended up before the supreme court for resolution. Resolution, however, was not forthcoming as no final ‘decision’ was reached.  This morning’s announcement from the Supreme Court declared that they couldn’t agree on the basis of the case.  Four justices sided with the lower court, and four justices sided with the President’s actions. That tie vote sets no national precedent, but it does leave the ruling by the lower court prohibiting implementation in place.

Since many believe that a single, right-leaning jurisdiction should not be able to dictate what our national laws should be, we can now anticipate that supporters of President Obama’s executive actions may try to coalesce a different group of states to file suit in a different jurisdiction sympathetic to their position to get a ruling forcing implementation.  If successful, that would create a potential ‘split’ allowing an executive order to be considered constitutional in some parts of the U.S., while viewed as unconstitutional in other parts of the U.S.

In the meantime, we’re in the midst of a Presidential Election year.  The presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has declared that he would scrap both DACA and DAPA and deport en masse, some estimated somewhere between 5 and 11 million people. The presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, has declared that she would keep both DACA and DAPA and find potential other ways to protect those who registered under those programs.

Elections are important folks.  There are some serious opportunity and economic costs associated with today’s ruling with puts not just those who trusted President Obama and registered for the program, but for a much larger population of people weary of what might happen if the government had information about them and are still sitting in the shadows.

We need to elect a Congress that is willing to dig in and work on issues.  We’ve now had a Congress unwilling to work for the money we pay them to manage our nation’s resources and laws.  It’s time for a change and I’m not talking about a change in the White House, but a change in Congress.


Statement from former NV Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, the Democratic candidate for Senate representing Nevadans re: Supreme Court Ruling on DACA/DAPA

“A knock on the door should not cause someone to fear that their family will suddenly be torn apart. This ruling is a setback for thousands of Nevada families, and Republicans like Donald Trump and Congressman Heck share the blame. This issue is personal for me – my grandfather came to this country from Chihuahua, Mexico. Contrary to what we hear from Republican politicians who call Mexicans ‘rapists,’ or promote debunked conspiracy theories about ‘Sharia Law’ coming to the United States, our country is stronger, not weaker, because of the contributions of immigrants. If Washington Republicans like Congressman Heck had actually done their job and passed comprehensive immigration reform, DACA and DAPA wouldn’t have even been necessary. Congressman Heck voted to join this anti-immigrant lawsuit that will result in families being torn apart – Nevada’s Latino community will hold him accountable for it in November.”

At the time of this writing, Rep. Joe Heck, the Republican candidate for Senate representing Nevadans has issued no statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this morning.


Hillary Clinton Statement on Texas v. United States

Today, following the Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision in Texas v. United States, Hillary Clinton issued the following statement:

“Today’s deadlocked decision from the Supreme Court is unacceptable, and show us all just how high the stakes are in this election. As I have consistently said, I believe that President Obama acted well within his constitutional and legal authority in issuing the DAPA and DACA executive actions. These are our friends and family members; neighbors and classmates; DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful permanent residents. They enrich our communities and contribute to our economy every day. We should be doing everything possible under the law to provide them relief from the specter of deportation.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is purely procedural and casts no doubt on the fact that DAPA and DACA are entirely within the President’s legal authority. But in addition to throwing millions of families across our country into a state of uncertainty, this decision reminds us how much damage Senate Republicans are doing by refusing to consider President Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Our families and our country need and deserve a full bench, and Senate Republicans need to stop playing political games with our democracy and give Judge Merrick Garland a fair hearing and vote.

“This decision is also a stark reminder of the harm Donald Trump would do to our families, our communities, and our country. Trump has pledged to repeal President Obama’s executive actions on his first day in office. He has called Mexican immigrants ‘rapists’ and ‘murderers.’ He has called for creating a deportation force” to tear 11 million people away from their families and their homes.

“I believe we are stronger together. When we embrace immigrants, not denigrate them. When we build bridges, not walls. That is why, as president, I will continue to defend DAPA and DACA, and do everything possible under the law to go further to protect families. It is also why I will introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship within my first 100 days. Because when families are strong—America is strong.”

Las declaraciones de Hillary Clinton sobre Texas versus Estados Unidos

Hillary Clinton publicó las siguientes declaraciones luego de la decisión dividida en el caso Texas vs. Estados Unidos:

“La inhabilidad de la Corte Suprema de llegar a una decisión en el caso Texas vs. Estados Unidos hoy es inaceptable y nos confirma la importancia de esta elección. Como he dicho consistentemente, creo que el presidente Obama actuó adecuadamente dentro de su autoridad legal y constitucional al emitir las acciones ejecutivas DAPA y DACA. Estos son nuestros amigos y familiares, vecinos y compañeros de clase; DREAMers y padres de residentes permanentes legales. Ellos enriquecen nuestras comunidades y contribuyen a la economía todos los días. Debemos hacer todo lo posible bajo la Ley para proveerles alivio de la sombras de la deportación.

“La decisión de hoy de la Corte Suprema es puramente procesal y no deja ninguna duda del hecho que DAPA y DACA están totalmente bajo la autoridad legal del presidente. Pero en lugar de echar a millones de familias a través de todo el país en un estado de incertidumbre, esta decisión nos recuerda cuánto daño los senadores republicanos están haciendo al rehusar considerar nombrar la vacante del presidente Obama a la Corte Suprema. Nuestras familias y nuestro país necesitan y merecen que se nombre esa vacante y los senadores republicanos tienen que parar de seguir estos juegos políticos con nuestra democracia y darle al juez Merrick Garland una audiencia justa y un voto.

“Esta decisión representa más evidencia de cuánto daño Donald Trump le haría a nuestras familias, nuestras comunidades y nuestro país. Trump se ha comprometido en revocar las acciones ejecutivas del presidente Obama en su primer día de administración. Ha llamado a los inmigrantes mexicanos “violadores” y “asesinos”. Ha enfatizado que creará una “fuerza de deportación” para separar a 11 millones de personas de sus familias y hogares. No podemos permitir un presidente que promueve la intolerancia de esta forma.

“Creo que somos más fuertes cuando nos unimos, cuando damos la bienvenida a los inmigrantes, no cuando los degradamos; cuando construimos puentes no murallas. Es por esto que, como presidenta, implementaré fielmente DAPA y DACA y haré todo lo posible bajo la Ley para ir más allá y proteger las familias inmigrantes. Es por esto, también, que introduciré una reforma migratoria integral con un camino a la ciudadanía durante los primeros 100 días de mi administración. Porque cuando las familias están fuertes, el país está fuerte”.

 

 

 

 

4 Reasons Why States Suing to Stop Immigration Actions Stand to Lose Big

Immigration activists demonstrate at the Supreme Court in Washington in support of President Barack Obama’s executive order to grant relief from deportation in order to keep immigrant families together, March 18, 2016. The U.S. Capitol is in the background.

Immigration activists demonstrate at the Supreme Court.
SOURCE: AP/J. Scott Applewhite

 — by Tom Jawetz 

On April 18, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit, United States v. Texas, brought by more than two dozen states challenging an immigration enforcement policy by the secretary of homeland security. If successful, the lawsuit could tear apart millions of American families, while at the same time greatly undercutting the U.S. economy.

Twenty-six states filed a lawsuit challenging the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, initiative along with the expansion of the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, initiative. Under DAPA, DACA, and expanded DACA, certain unauthorized immigrants who have lived in the United States for many years and who either came to the country as children or are the parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents can come forward, register with the government, pass background checks, and request deferred action—a temporary protection from the threat of deportation. With deferred action, such people are also eligible to request permission to work in the country legally. The implementation of both DAPA and expanded DACA has been temporarily placed on hold while the case works its way through the courts.

In suing to freeze DAPA and expanded DACA, these 26 states have chosen to forgo tens of billions of dollars in increased state gross domestic product, or GDP, not to mention the additional earnings of their own residents, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars each year in increased state and local tax revenue. This is significant in part because the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the plaintiff states had standing to bring this lawsuit based upon the district court’s finding that the state of Texas may end up spending “several million dollars” to issue driver’s licenses to some of the people who receive deferred action. In addition to these monetary losses, the plaintiff states are also threatening to tear fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters away from the more than 2.6 million U.S. citizen family members with whom they live in these states. (see Table 2)

Here are four key facts you should know about the states that are suing to freeze DAPA and expanded DACA.

1. The plaintiff states stand to lose at least $91.9 billion in increased state GDP

Nationally, the three deferred action initiatives—DAPA, DACA, and expanded DACA—are estimated to grow the U.S. economy cumulatively by $230 billion over 10 years. The reasons for this are fairly simple. As professional economists and scholars in related fields recently explained in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, when unauthorized immigrants gain work authorization and protection from deportation—even temporarily—they are able to find jobs that make full use of their skills and abilities, earn higher wages, and become even more economically productive.

What’s more, individual states can expect to see their economies grow as a result of these initiatives. Together, 18 of the 26 states suing to freeze DAPA and expanded DACA stand to lose an estimated $91.9 billion in increased state GDP over 10 years if the three deferred action initiatives are not fully implemented. And while the original DACA initiative is not under review in United States v. Texas, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision places a cloud over it as well.

ShootingFoot-table1

2. Residents of the plaintiff states stand to lose an estimated $48.4 billion in increased earnings

Because of the enormous economic activity that would be generated by these initiatives, the cumulative earnings of American workers would increase by an estimated $124 billion nationally. In the 18 plaintiff states for which CAP has data, we estimate that implementing DAPA, DACA, and expanded DACA would raise the earnings of these states’ residents by more than $48.4 billion over 10 years.

3. The plaintiff states stand to lose nearly $272 million annually in increased state and local tax revenue

Unauthorized immigrants contribute enormous sums to state and local coffers through taxes:$11.64 billion annually, according to a new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Full implementation of the three deferred action initiatives would increase state and local tax contributions by unauthorized immigrants by an estimated $805 million each year.

The 26 states that are suing to block DAPA and expanded DACA would stand to gain an estimated $271.7 million annually in state and local tax revenue. Texas leads the way with the nearly $59 million it is estimated to gain each year in such revenue through the implementation of DAPA, DACA, and expanded DACA. (see Table 1)

And it’s not just states and localities that would stand to lose additional tax revenues: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation studied the budgetary effects of legislation to block DAPA, DACA, and expanded DACA and found that the bill would reduce federal tax revenues by $22.3 billion over a 10-year period, leading to a $7.5 billion increase in the deficit over that same period.

4. More than 2.6 million U.S. citizens live with a DAPA-eligible family member in the plaintiff states

By definition, the parents of American citizens or lawful permanent residents who would be eligible to apply for DAPA have deep roots in the United States. Nearly 70 percent of anticipated DAPA beneficiaries have lived in the United States for at least 10 years, and a full one-quarter have lived here for at least 20 years.

According to an estimate prepared for CAP by the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, there are more than 6.1 million U.S. citizens around the country who live in the same household as a DAPA-eligible family member. California leads the pack with an estimated 1.8 million individuals, but Texas comes in a close second at nearly 1.1 million. And in the 21 plaintiff states for which CAP has data, there are more than 2.6 million U.S. citizens living with a DAPA-eligible family member.

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Conclusion

Given the facts presented above, it is little wonder that the largest cities and counties in many of the plaintiff states filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing in support of DAPA and expanded DACA. If the Supreme Court overturns the lower court’s decision and permits these policies to take effect—as it should—not only will the nation as a whole benefit from the implementation of these sensible policies, but the plaintiff states will benefit as well.


Tom Jawetz is the Vice President of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress.

This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe. ‘Like’ CAP Action on Facebook and ‘follow’ us on Twitter

CREDO Advocacy: Tell AG Laxalt to Drop His Anti-Immigration Lawsuit

Thanks to the courage of thousands of youth activists in the immigration reform movement, last fall President Obama finally took executive actions that protected five million immigrants and their families from the pain of deportation. CREDO members were proud to support these actions with their activism and contributions to United We Dream.

NV-AG Adam Laxalt
NV-AG Adam Laxalt

But this victory is now at risk. Right-wing extremists have pressured Republicans in 26 states, including Attorney General Adam Laxalt, into pursuing politically motivated, anti-immigrant lawsuits to block the Obama administration from implementing executive actions meant to provide relief for millions of immigrants and their families.

Once again, families of millions of immigrants are facing the risk of being pulled apart. And it’s all because a group of right-wing Republican state officials led by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are pursuing a craven, politically-motivated legal strategy just to pander to their racist and anti-immigrant conservative base. We have to fight back now.

Tell Attorney General Adam Laxalt: Drop your frivolous lawsuit against President Obama’s executive actions protecting the families of millions of aspiring Americans.

President Obama’s executive actions, commonly known as expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), could provide widespread relief to nearly 5 million children, young adults, and their parents under constant fear of deportation (More Info). DAPA would defer deportation and grant temporary work permits for millions of undocumented immigrants while changes to DACA would expand exemptions from deportation to 330,000 more children and young adults (More Info).

DACA-DAPA

Even though the president’s executive order on immigration was not all that we asked for, it was a historic move that would protect families of millions of aspiring Americans from being ripped apart due to our broken immigration system.

We know the right-wing majority in the House has never had any intention of passing meaningful immigration reform. And since the Republicans are now in charge of the Senate, there’s no chance that Congress will fix our broken immigration system any time soon.

Without a permanent solution in place, these actions by the Obama administration will provide the immediate relief that so many immigrant families need to keep their families together.

But extreme right-wing ideologues are pursuing a politically craven and heartless strategy – arguably amounting to an abuse of our legal system – that will potentially result in undocumented parents being ripped away from their children and deported (More Info).

Tell Attorney General Adam Laxalt: Drop this frivolous lawsuit against President Obama’s executive actions protecting the families of millions of aspiring Americans.

Sign-the-Petition-gold.fw

Allowing these lawsuits to stand will only prolong the suffering of families of millions of hardworking aspiring Americans who are seeking a better life for themselves and their children.

We must act now to publicly pressure Attorney General Laxalt to show compassion by dropping the frivolous lawsuit to undo President Obama’s executive actions. 

Thank you for fighting for the rights of immigrants.

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets