On Monday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited decision in Texas v. U.S., upholding the lower court’s order blocking President Obama’s executive action on immigration. The court’s 2-1 decision prevents the Administration from implementing DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) and expanded DACA (expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
“The judicial system has committed a serious error that perpetuates our terribly broken, inhumane immigration system and stops the federal government from exercising its authority,” said Bruce Goldstein, President of Farmworker Justice, a national advocacy organization for farmworkers. “The injunction should be lifted. The President’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion is a sensible, limited and lawful action. Texas does not even have a legally proper basis to bring this case. The courts should not intervene in what is clearly a political dispute between the Executive Branch and states that disagree with the President’s immigration policy.”
We are pleased that the Department of Justice is seeking review of this case in the Supreme Court, which we hope will swiftly accept and rule on the case. While we are frustrated that millions of immigrants will have to wait longer for the limited, temporary relief which these programs would provide, we expect that the Supreme Court will support the Administration’s exercise of its authority.
“This case is vitally important to farmworker families, their communities and the agricultural system,” said Bruce Goldstein.” DAPA and DACA could provide temporary relief to an estimated 700,000 farmworkers and family members. At least half the farm labor force is undocumented, which contributes to the low wages and labor abuses in the fields. Implementing DAPA and expanded DACA will provide much needed relief from deportation and temporary work authorization to many farmworker families.
But this executive action is not a complete answer. Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform to fix the system and provide undocumented immigrants an opportunity for immigration status and eventual citizenship.