The first decision in the State of Texas v. United States lawsuit is a temporary setback that could delay, not block, progress toward relief for immigrants

RALEIGH (February 17, 2015) — Today’s ruling in State of Texas v. United States is a disappointing roadblock for efforts to keep families together, improve our economy and help America live up to our shared heritage as a nation of immigrants. However, the court decision is just one step in a long legal battle, and will not slow us down. We are intensifying our efforts to quickly plan and implement community programs to ensure that North Carolina’s eligible immigrants are well-informed and have the legal assistance they need in order to apply.

After President Barack Obama’s Nov. 20, 2014 announcement of a new deferred action initiative, two lawsuits were filed seeking a preliminary injunction to temporarily block Obama’s deferred action programs from being implemented. The case, State of Texas v. United States, was heard in U.S. District Court on Jan. 9. As anticipated, the Obama administration has immediately filed an appeal, and our work preparing for implementation of the immigration programs in North Carolina continues as planned.

The president’s program is a historic victory obtained through the hard work and courageous actions of immigrant communities, including those in North Carolina. Anti-immigrant politicians brought this lawsuit in order to delay implementation and spread fear and confusion among those who may qualify for these programs.

Between 4 million and 5 million people nationwide, including approximately 155,000 in North Carolina, could benefit from obtaining temporary relief from potential deportation available through two of the best-known programs, Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We are committed to protecting these beneficial programs.

Policies that keep families together don’t just benefit immigrants, but every American. That’s why a diverse and growing movement exists to support meaningful immigration reform. This movement will continue. This ruling will harm millions of people — many of whom are civic leaders, entrepreneurs and primary breadwinners – and also their families and communities.

Despite the District Court decision, most legal experts agree that the president’s actions are well within the scope of his executive authority. Similar actions have been taken by previous presidents and upheld by the courts, indicating that administrative relief of this nature stands on strong legal grounds.

We are confident that future decisions will reflect this reality. Potential beneficiaries of these programs should continue gathering their documents and stay in communication with local organizations serving immigrant communities and other trusted organizations for news and next steps.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Dani Moore, director of the NC Justice Center’s Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project,, 919.856.2178; Raul Pinto, staff attorney NC Justice Center’s Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project,, 919.861.1469; Jeff Shaw, director of communications,, 503.551.3615 (cell).