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Bloomington Joins 118 Cities and Counties to File Amicus Brief in United States v. Texas

For Immediate Release:
March 9, 2016

Bloomington Joins 118 Cities and Counties to File Amicus Brief in United States v. Texas Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Permit President Obama's Executive Action on Immigation to Move Forward

Bloomington, Ind. - Bloomington, Ind. - As part of Cities for Action, Mayor John Hamilton announced today that Bloomington joins a broad coalition of cities and counties filing a friendofthecourt amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Texas , urging the Court to overturn a lower court's decision and allow President Obama's executive action on immigration to move forward. The brief, signed by 118 cities and counties representing 35 states, argues that the nationwide injunction blocking implementation of the President's executive action on immigration was erroneously entered and should be reversed because it places millions of families in our cities and counties at economic and personal risk.

Commenting on the filing, Mayor Hamilton stated, "Bloomington is proud to support President Obama's efforts to reaffirm our nation's founding principles. Ours is a nation of immigrants; by joining in support of this filing we add our voice to speak on behalf all residents who work to make our country stronger and more prosperous. This is just the right thing to do". Amici include 44 cities and counties located in states that brought or support the lawsuit, including some of the largest municipalities in Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, Utah, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Idaho. Together, amici represent an estimated 55 million people, including over 15 million immigrants, more than 37% of the nation's immigrant population. These cities are also home to more than 1.5 million immigrant children and their parents who are potentially eligible for relief under President Obama's executive actions. This is the fourth amicus brief to be filed by cities and counties in this case, and the momentum of support has grown with each step in the litigation. At the district court there were over 30 signatories, at the 5 th Circuit court of appeals, over 70 signatories, at the petition stage to the Supreme Court, over 80 signatories, and this latest brief represents 118 mayors and county leaders. The brief demonstrates to the Court that the executive action will benefit cities and counties by keeping families together, improving the safety and welfare of all residents, increasing local tax revenue, and stimulating local economies.

Why Cities And Counties Have Joined The Brief:

  • The President's executive action will provide relief to an estimated 4 million immigrants and their families and contribute over $800 million annually in economic benefits to state and local governments.
  • The impact of the injunction is most immediately and acutely felt on the local level. Implementation of the challenged Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs directly implicates significant local interests.
  • Mayors and county executives' support for DAPA and expanded DACA is part of their longstanding interest in policies that advance immigrant integration.
  • From the time of the President's announcement, cities and counties have taken concrete steps to get ready for the implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA.
  • Withholding and delaying the executive action threatens irreparable harms to family unity, the health and welfare of children and families, public safety, and the local economy. The brief argues that delay in implementation of the President's executive action has significant costs for immigrant families and local economies. For example:
  • The delay in implementation has forced mixedstatus families with U.S. citizen children (representing at least 9 million people) to continue to live in ongoing fear of deportation and separation, a situation that has profound emotional, educational, and health impacts on children.
  • Each day of delay costs local governments hundreds of thousands of dollars in unrealized revenue.
  • Public safety is also negatively affected by the delay because immigrants remain afraid and reluctant to go to the police, seek health care, or otherwise access government services and resources.

Key Arguments From The Brief:

  • Immigration measures, like the President's executive action, directly implicate significant local interests.
  • Federal humanitarian actions to defer deportation for local residents who are not an enforcement priority, particularly parents and children, have farreaching social and financial benefits for localities. Withholding and delaying deferred action, by contrast, threatens irreparable local harms.
  • The nationwide injunction should not have been entered in this case without any consideration of local interests and the harms to localities caused by the injunction.
  • The Court should not authorize a standing rule for nationwide injunctions that effectively gives objecting parties veto rights over federal policies protective of local interests without any mechanism for considering the harm to thousands of local governments across the nation.
  • This overbroad approach will invite parties to litigate disputes that are political in nature and settle important public policy questions, as in this case, by uncalledfor litigation and sweeping injunctions.

By filing this brief, America's mayors and county executives are making a strong statement in support of the President's plan to grant administrative relief to over 4 million undocumented children and adults.