MALDEF Represents Three Individuals Affected by Executive Action in Trial Court

NEW ORLEANS, LA - This morning, MALDEF Vice President of Litigation Nina Perales will present oral argument before a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to argue for the intervention of three potential applicants for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) in Texas v. United States, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of DAPA and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was first implemented in 2012. MALDEF represents three mothers from South Texas who sought to join the case because they intend to apply for DAPA, a form of prosecutorial discretion that would protect parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents from removal and permit them to work.

"While the federal government can and should defend the President's clear authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion, the immigrants who have the greatest interest in relief from the daily threat of removal must be represented," stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. "The law and basic notions of fairness and due process support their intervention to defend the much-needed DAPA while the Congress continues to refuse to act legislatively in this critical area."

In February, 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. At that time, the judge ordered that the federal government needed to take additional time to carry out a formal rule-making process before DAPA and the DACA expansion could proceed. The decision did not affect the original DACA of 2012, and did not affect DACA recipients who wanted to renew their applications.

This morning, the same panel that will hear argument in MALDEF’s intervention appeal will hear oral argument on the merits of the judge’s order restraining implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA.

"The three mothers should be allowed to enter the case to defend their interests in remaining in this country and caring for their children," stated Nina Perales, MALDEF Vice President of Litigation. "The Jane Does are the individuals most directly affected by the 2014 Guidance, and their voices should be heard."

Whatever the outcome of the merits appeal, MALDEF believes it is critical that the interests and views of the potential recipients of deferred action should be heard and represented in any further challenge to the President’s appropriate exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

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:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund