Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Mayor Michael Nutter. Photo: AL DÍA Archive
Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Mayor Michael Nutter. Photo: AL DÍA Archive

Philly and PA leaders join legal briefs in support of Obama’s immigration action


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Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Commissioner Charles Ramsey, Congressmen Robert A. Brady and Chaka Fattah, organizations like Esperanza and The Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, and law professors from Penn, Drexel, Villanova, Temple and Penn State showed their support for Obama’s Immigration action.

181 members of congress, 73 mayors and county officials from 27 States, civil rights, and business leaders filed legal briefs Monday in support of President Obama’s immigration actions which were blocked earlier this year by a federal court and in anticipation of a hearing by an appeals court April 17.

The brief filed by 74 mayors and county officials from 27 states includes Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia; Mayor Ed Pawlowski of Allentown; Mayor William Peduto of Pittsburgh; Mayor Elizabeth A. Goreham and the State College Borough Council.

Another brief on behalf of law enforcement officials includes Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

The brief filed by 181 members of the U.S. House of Representatives includes Pennsylvania’s Robert A. Brady and Chaka Fattah.

An additional brief by the American Immigration Council, National Immigration Law Center and Service Employees International Union is signed by more than 150 civil rights, labor, and immigration advocacy groups, including The National Council of La Raza, The Hispanic National Bar Association, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and The Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition.

Another brief submitted on behalf of 109 law professors, includes Howard F. Chang and Sarah Paolett, of the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Anil Kalhan of Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law; Michele R. Pistone of Villanova University School of Law; Jaya Ramji-Nogales, of Temple University; Jill E. Family of Widener University School of Law; Sheila I. Vélez Martínez, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia of Penn State Law.

The brief submitted on behalf of faith leaders includes Esperanza and The National Latino Evangelical Coalition.

Other briefs submitted to the court today included those on behalf of 15 states and the District of Columbia and businesses leaders.

The president’s actions are intended to offer a relief to approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants. The first one would expand the deferred action program for undocumented youth (DACA) implemented in 2012 by allowing an additional number of "dreamers" to apply for a protection from deportation and a work permit. The second one, known as DAPA, would allow parents of American citizens or residents to apply for the same protections.

However the president’s actions were blocked last month by a Federal Judge in Texas following a lawsuit by a coalition of 26 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin. Additionally New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined Texas, Louisiana and South Dakota in filing a brief to ask an appeals court to maintain the injunction against Obama’s executive actions.

On the opposite side, 14 states and the District of Columbia have asked a federal appeals court to remove the temporary block on Obama's executive action on immigration. Among them California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, and the District of Columbia. 

Among the states that have not taken a position in regards to Obama’s executive actions are Alaska, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wyoming. 




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