Texas Presses Supreme Court to Deny Gov’t Request to Hear Executive Amnesty Case

Activists calling for federal judges to reject challenges to President Obama's 'Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents' (DAPA) program drop off letters stating their demands in a mock mail box outside the Jacob K. Javits Federal building, where naturalization ceremonies take place, on May 19, 2015 …
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Texas and the 25 other states challenging President Obama’s executive amnesty have filed a response to the Obama administration’s appeal to the Supreme Court of a lower court’s ruling blocking the programs.

In a brief filed with the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Texas asks the court to deny the Obama administration’s request for a review of the case and uphold the federal appeals court’s decision halting Obama’s executive amnesty.

The states argue that the Obama administration overstepped its constitutional authority with the unilateral actions. If implemented, Obama’s executive amnesty would confer de facto legal status and work permits on millions of illegal immigrants.

“[T]he Executive does not dispute that [Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)] would be one of the largest changes in immigration policy in our Nation’s history,” the brief reads. “The President himself described DAPA as ‘an action to change the law.’ Pet. App. 384a; R.69.1 There is no statutory or constitutional authority for such a change; and at a minimum, it had to be promulgated with notice-and- comment procedure.”

As the brief argues, with the unilateral actions, Obama also made that large swath of illegal immigrants eligible for costly benefits including driver’s licenses, Social Security, Medicare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and unemployment insurance.

“In reality, of course, DAPA is a crucial change in the Nation’s immigration law and policy—and that is precisely why it could be created only by Congress, rather than unilaterally imposed by the Executive. If the Court grants review, it should affirm the injunction and uphold the separation of powers,” the brief reads.

In November, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court judge’s injunction blocking the executive amnesty programs.

“President Obama’s executive action on immigration represents an unprecedented attempt to expand the power of the executive branch,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “The president alone does not have the authority to grant millions of illegal immigrants a host of benefits – like Social Security and Medicare – which should be reserved for lawful citizens.”

Joining Texas in challenging Obama’s executive amnesty are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.