Texas Federal Judge to Rule on Anti-Immigrant Lawsuit After January 30
Miami, FL – Today, Judge Andrew Hanen, a G.W. Bush-appointed judge from the Federal District Court in Brownsville, Texas held the first hearing of Texas, et. al v. United States of America. The lawsuit was filed by Gov-Elect Greg Abbott, and it aims to stop the President’s recent executive action on immigration, halting the implementation of initiatives that could allow up to 5 million people to apply for work permits. Twenty-four other states signed on to the lawsuit, including Florida.
“Attorney General Pam Bondi’s misguided and politically motivated attack on the President’s executive action could affect hundreds of thousands of Floridian families,” said Francesca Menes, Policy Director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition. “The President acted within his authority to set enforcement priorities and help keep families together. It is shameful that Attorney General Bondi would divert scarce resources from our state to attack the same DREAMers that Governor Rick Scott’s Administration supported with access to education last year.”
Approximately 200,000 undocumented Floridians could benefit from Obama’s Executive Action, including 90,000 DREAMers who would be eligible for the expansion of the DACA program. Enabling these immigrants to register with the government and apply for a temporary work permit would increase Florida’s tax revenues by $102 million and lead to a cascade of economic benefits across the state.
There was an amicus brief filed in support of the deferred action programs and more than a hundred constitutional law experts and legal scholars agree that the President used his legal authority to begin to address our country’s broken immigration system.
“Today’s hearing is just the first round in what will likely be a long, drawn out legal battle. As Floridians, we ask Pam Bondi to do what’s right for our state and drop the lawsuit,” said Menes. “Meanwhile, we will gather support from key actors throughout the state and send a message to eligible Floridians that they should have no fear of attending information meetings and getting ready to apply for deferred action status once the forms are available.”
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The Florida Immigrant Coalition is a statewide alliance of over 50 immigrant rights organizations, including farmworkers, students, service providers, grassroots organizations and legal advocates, who come together for the fair treatment of all people, including immigrants.