Newspaper article Roll Call

Democrats File Court Brief Backing Obama Immigration Orders

Newspaper article Roll Call

Democrats File Court Brief Backing Obama Immigration Orders

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Democrats File Court Brief Backing Obama Immigration Orders

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* By Todd Ruger

* CQ Staff

* April 6, 2015, 3:48 p.m.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Hoyer and Pelosi joined 179 other House Democrats in signing the letter.

A group of 181 Democratic members of the House weighed in on the legal fight over immigration on Monday, telling an appeals court that the executive branch has the authority to make the policy changes that President Barack Obama announced in November.

In an amicus brief, the lawmakers said the enforcement of immigration laws and the deferral of certain deportations are squarely within the discretion of the president - a central part of the legal dispute now at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. The brief adds that the White House is often better positioned than Congress to determine how to adjust to laws like immigration.

"As representatives of diverse communities across the United States, amici have witnessed how an approach to enforcement of the immigration laws that does not focus on appropriate priorities, such as felons or national security threats, undermines confidence in the nation's immigration laws, wastes resources, and needlessly divides families," the lawmakers' brief states.

"Amici regard the actions of the executive branch challenged in this suit as appropriate measures to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security's limited enforcement resources are directed toward the removal of persons who pose actual threats to public safety," the brief states.

Democratic lawmakers signing the brief include House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, Assistant Leader James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California, Caucus Vice Chairman Joseph Crowley of New York, Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat John Conyers Jr. …

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