Menendez: High Court Should Uphold Obama’s Immigration Amnesty Plan

By Penny Starr | March 9, 2016 | 7:04pm EST
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) spoke at a briefing at the Capitol on March 9, 2016 in support of President Obama's executive actions on amnesty, which will be the focus of a U.S. Supreme Court hearing in April. ( Starr)

( – Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said on Wednesday that he hopes the United States Supreme Court will rule against the findings of lower courts that put a halt to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Speaking at a briefing at the Capitol in support of Obama’s actions, Menendez argued that “allowing DAPA and expanded DACA to move forward creates a mechanism and an incentive for almost five million law-abiding immigrants in our community to finally be allowed to come forward, to submit to a background check and to fully contribute to our country.”

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents), programs that would allow millions of illegal aliens to stay in the country without threat of deportation, are the subject of a lawsuit brought by 26 states.

Menendez and others announced at the briefing friend of the court briefs submitted to the high court in support of Obama’s executive actions. They include congressional Democrats, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s group, and Dayton, Ohio police chief Richard Biehl.

Also speaking at the event was a Mexican-born illegal immigrant who describes herself as a “DACA-mented” teacher working in Austin, Texas, and an illegal alien who said that, as a gay man, if he were deported to his home country of El Salvador he would face persecution “and even death.”

“The bottom line is clear,” Menendez said. “Beyond the fact that the executive actions are within the president’s legal authority, they represent the cornerstone of fundamental American belief – one that conservatives usually applaud – and that is a belief in the value of family and keeping families together. Mothers, fathers, and children together.”

“We should embrace their contributions to our economy and our society; not tear their families apart,” he said.

On Feb. 16 last year, just two days before the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was set to begin accepting applications under the expanded DACA and DAPA programs, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen for the Southern District of Texas issued a temporary injunction halting implementation.

That injunction was later upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Louisiana. The Obama administration appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case in April.

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