President Barack Obama’s immigration order will soon be ruled by the Supreme Court of the United States. In this respect, quite a few leaders from California have expressed their support for undocumented immigrants and their role in the country.
Several California leaders have asked the Supreme Court to unfreeze the order that will offer legal presence to about half of the eleven million undocumented residents of the U.S. Furthermore, they also presented valuable arguments, including community values and economic benefits. The group of Californians is comprised of educational, religious, business and civic leaders.
The program named Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) was halted last year by an induction. At the same time, its legality proceeds are challenged by a lawsuit.
The leaders also made reference to the state of California that houses over a quarter of the total immigrant population, about 2.9 million people. Additionally, over forty percent of the population of the state is comprised of immigrants.
Next, they explained the role of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. In spite of the fact that are seven percent of the population of California, immigrants make up 21 percent of the construction workers, 22 percent of the production workers and 34 percent of the farm workers. As a result, undocumented work contributes with more than $130 billion to the gross domestic product of the state. This GDP is larger than the entire GDPs of nineteen other states.
Furthermore, they claim that the implementation of the order would also secure current economic benefits and ensure its growth in the future. It is estimated that DAPA could create 130,000 jobs in California, but also increase collective wages of undocumented immigrants with $5.5 billion each year.
The brief was not signed only by California leaders, but also by fifteen businesses and organizations, including California Farm Labor Contractor Association, Driscoll’s Berries, the California Hotel and Lodging Association, Sierra Orchards and the California Restaurant Association. DAPA is also supported by University of California President Janet Napolitano.
However, this was not the only brief in favour of the order. Only last Tuesday an amicus brief was filed by more than one hundred mayors, led by Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor, Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Mayor, Kasim Reed, Atlanta Mayor, William Bell, Birmingham Mayor, and Steve Adler, Austin Mayor. Harry Reid, Senate Democratic Leader, and Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, have also filed a brief, along with 223 other Congressional Democrats.
While DAPA seems likely to be approved in the end, it may be further hindered by 26 states that are mostly affected by the illegality of the matter, such as Texas. These states have filed suit against the immigration order, reasoning that 4 million illegal immigrants will thus be granted amnesty. The arguments of both sides will be heard by the Supreme Court on April 18.
Image Source: Salon
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