Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, 15 Other Attorneys General File Amicus Brief Urging Supreme Court to Allow Executive Actions on Immigration to Move Forward

Friday, December 4, 2015
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LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that California has joined 14 other states and the District of Columbia in a friend-of-the-court brief, in the case of United States v. Texas, supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court’s decision and allow President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration to move forward. Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld an injunction, sought by Texas and 25 other states, that prohibited the federal government from putting into effect the new deferred action programs.

The brief, signed by California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, asks the Supreme Court to lift the injunction and allow the programs to move forward.  The brief points out the economic, public safety, and humanitarian benefits of President Obama’s immigration actions and argues that Texas and the other plaintiff states did not have standing to challenge the administration’s policies.

“President Obama’s common-sense actions on immigration will allow millions of hard-working immigrants to more fully contribute to the prosperity and security of California and the nation,” said Attorney General Harris. “I urge the Supreme Court to grant review in United States v. Texas and allow these important immigration programs to move forward so that millions of Californians can share in the American Dream.”

President Obama’s immigration actions will allow approximately 5 million people, including 1.2 million Californians, to apply for protection from deportation and work authorization. Eligible individuals will be required to submit biometric data, pass criminal and national security background checks, pay taxes, and meet the specific requirements for the deferred action program, including having resided in the U.S. for at least five years. The federal policies also expand a preexisting program for certain immigrants who came to the United States as children. 

A copy of the brief is attached to the electronic version of this release at

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