Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet signed an amicus brief Thursday in support of the President's executive actions on immigration.
He joined 33 Senators and 184 members of the House of Representatives who filed an amicus brief in support of a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court seeking to review the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, which blocked the Secretary of Homeland Security from implementing the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. These programs were announced by President Obama last November as part of his Executive Actions on Immigration.
"There's bipartisan agreement that our immigration system is broken," Bennet said. "We believe that the Supreme Court will agree that it is most important to break up threats to our national security, rather than breaking up families. Fixing the flaws in our immigration system will strengthen our economy and our families. The creation of DAPA and expansion of DACA will give hard-working families the relief to come out of the shadows and financially contribute to our tax base."
The brief makes the case, from the perspective of 218 Members of Congress, that DAPA and expanded DACA are consistent with Congressional intent and the Executive's longstanding legal authority to establish national immigration enforcement priorities and exercise discretion in the enforcement of America's immigration laws. As stated in the brief: Congress has "granted the Secretary [of Homeland Security] broad discretion in determining how to carry out the immigration laws, and has explicitly directed the Secretary to establish policies and priorities for enforcement of those laws."
Members of Congress are concerned that the Fifth Circuit Court decision interferes with Congress's ability to grant the Executive Branch the flexibility and discretion necessary to enforce the law in a rational, effective, and efficient manner. The ruling would instead "force Congress to specifically prescribe every priority and power with detailed enforcement instructions," the practical effect of which - if allowed to stand - would strip the Executive of broad authority to make discretionary judgments on how best to enforce the nation's immigration laws where Congress has not prescribed a specific action, and would devastate millions of individuals, families, and communities across the nation.
Full text of the amicus brief can be found here.
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