November 20, 2015

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order allowing MALDEF's clients, three mothers from south Texas who intend to apply for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), to participate as parties in the appeal recently decided by a Fifth Circuit panel. The women will therefore have party status, with all rights of parties, including briefing, argument, and participation in all case-related matters, as the case moves to the Supreme Court. Today, the United States Department of Justice filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to hear the case on President Obama's executive actions on immigration. As the appeals process moves to the U.S. Supreme Court, MALDEF will advocate on behalf of the three mothers in Texas v. United States, adding a human dimension to this pivotal case.

MALDEF represents three mothers from South Texas who sought to join the case to defend the President's authority to exercise his prosecutorial discretion through the announcements of DAPA and expanded DACA. The women intend to apply for DAPA once it is permitted to be implemented. DAPA would protect parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents from removal and permit the parents to work with full legal protection.

"We join the federal government in urging a swift resolution of the issues in this appeal by the Supreme Court," stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. "Already a year has gone by, with the President prevented from exercising his clear authority to implement prosecutorial discretion to protect longstanding residents with deep ties to the United States from facing removal and other discrimination in their daily lives."

In February of this year, a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas denied the mothers' request to join the case as parties; the judge also decided to temporarily halt DAPA and the expansion of DACA to more immigrants who arrived as minors. The decision did not affect the original DACA of 2012, and did not affect DACA recipients who wanted to renew their applications. The government appealed the decision to the Fifth Circuit. Arguments were heard in July, and the district court's preliminary injunction was upheld earlier this month, after the panel determined the government's appeal was unlikely to succeed on its merits.

"As full participants in the case, the three mothers will press the urgency of their situation," stated Nina Perales, MALDEF Vice President of Litigation and counsel for the women. "With DAPA, they hope to continue to care for their children and gain permission to work and help support their families," continued Perales.

MALDEF is joined in this case by co-counsel at O'Melveny and Myers and DLA Piper.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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