Immigration reform advocates are not happy about the House of Representatives filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court fight over President Barack Obama’s immigration actions. A coalition of 50 pro-immigration reform groups will urge House Republicans to reject legislation that would allow the brief, Politico reported Monday.
The House is expected to vote on the resolution this week. It would authorize the lower chamber of Congress to file an official amicus brief in U.S. v. Texas, which questions whether Obama overstepped his authority when taking executive actions that protected some undocumented immigrants from deportation.
The immigration reform groups plan to send a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and the rest of the House, asking members to “publicly” vote “against hate and vote against House Speaker Paul Ryan’s resolution.”
“Those executive actions represent the dreams and aspirations of millions of children, parents and families who have built lives here, who contribute to our economy and our communities and who believe in the promise of America,” the letter reads, according to Politico. “Once implemented, President Obama’s immigration executive action will keep those families together and transform their lives. In doing so it will make our nation a better place to live for all of us.”
The groups are hoping they can pressure Republican lawmakers from districts with significant immigrant populations. But it is unlikely the letter will have a much effect on the vote, which is expect to pass along party lines.
The letter includes signatures from groups such as Vote Latinos, United Food and Commercial Workers, UNITE HERE and the Service Employees International Union, among others. The coalition also plans to spend heavily on digital ads and stage a protest at Ryan’s district office in Racine, Wisconsin. Last week, the SEIU also urged 25 Republican lawmakers to join Democrats in filing an amicus brief in support of Obama.
Ryan announced the House would vote on the amicus brief earlier this month, saying the president is “not permitted to write law” and the House wanted to make that clear. “This is a very extraordinary step. In fact it's never been done before, but this executive amnesty is a direct attack on the Congress' Article 1 powers under our Constitution,” Ryan told reporters on March 1.
Obama unveiled his executive actions in 2014, but a challenge brought by Texas and 25 other states caused the courts to block implementation. The programs include Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, which would protect from deportation 4.3 million undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which helps teens and young adults who were brought to the U.S. as children. The Supreme Court said earlier this year that it will hear the case, and is expected to rule on the issue by early summer.