(Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) today filed an amicus brief at the U.S. Supreme Court – on behalf of nearly 340,000 Americans – urging the high Court to uphold a lower court ruling that rejected President Obama’s executive action on illegal immigration.
In November 2015, a federal appeals court upheld a block of President Obama’s effort to move forward with a series of executive actions seeking to give quasi-legal status and work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants.
In the brief filed today, the ACLJ argues that President Obama’s action “changes the law and sets a new policy, exceeding the Executive’s constitutional authority and disrupting the delicate balance of powers.”
“Impatient presidents don’t get to change the law,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “Our position from the beginning has been very clear: President Obama is not a king. This Executive overreach is both unlawful and unconstitutional. We are urging the Supreme Court to put an end to this impermissible overreach which can only be described as a troubling hallmark of this president. The trial court was absolutely correct in finding that President Obama ‘is not just rewriting the laws, he is creating them from scratch.’ The Supreme Court has an important opportunity to protect the Constitution and rein in an out-of-control president.”
In the amicus brief, the ACLJ contends that the Obama Administration’s memo – Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) – issued in November 2014 “violates the Constitution and Congress’s expressed intent in its immigration laws. The Constitution vested in Congress the exclusive authority to make law and set immigration policies.” The brief argues: “Thus, DAPA, at the admission of the President, changes the law and sets a new policy, exceeding the Executive’s constitutional authority and disrupting the delicate balance of powers.”
Further, the brief argues that the president oversteps his authority by creating a specified class of immigrants – the over 4 million parents of U.S. citizens (and lawful permanent residents) who are unlawfully in the United States – only something that Congress is authorized to do.
“Congress has created a comprehensive immigration scheme — which authorizes case-by-case exceptions while delineating certain categorical treatment of specified classes of immigrants . . . but the class identified by DAPA for categorical relief is not one authorized by Congress,” the brief asserts.
The ACLJ brief contends the president’s actions violate the law:
“The Government also exceeded the bounds of its prosecutorial discretion and abdicated its duty to faithfully execute the law. Instead of setting enforcement priorities, it created a class-based program that establishes eligibility requirements that, if met, grant unlawful immigrants a renewable lawful presence in the United States and substantive benefits. The lack of individualized review or guidelines by which an immigration officer could deny relief to those who meet the eligibility requirements further demonstrates categorical nonenforcement and violates this Court’s precedent.”
The ACLJ brief filed at the Supreme Court is posted here. The ACLJ represents itself and nearly 340,000 Americans who have signed on to the ACLJ’s Committee to Defend the Separation of Powers – Americans who oppose the Obama Administration’s actions.
The ACLJ has been involved in challenging President Obama’s immigration overreach since the very start – filing several briefs including an amicus brief with the appeals court on behalf of members of Congress and hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Further, in 2014, ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow testified before the House Judiciary Committee – providing detailed evidence as to why President Obama’s actions violate the separation of powers.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in United States v. Texas on April 18th with a decision expected by the end of the court’s term this summer.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law & Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
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