President Barack Obama’s executive actions in November 2014 to provide relief from deportation for hundreds of thousands of Californians was welcome news, not just for those directly impacted, but for our state as a whole.
The President’s actions expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and created a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. These measures would allow families to remain united, contribute to our state’s economy and public safety, and provide a path to health coverage for these undocumented Californians through Medi-Cal. Since our state is stronger when more people have access to health coverage, DAPA and an expanded DACA are important steps towards achieving health and justice for all.
However, before the President’s actions could be implemented, a challenge in federal court by the State of Texas has put the promise of these new initiatives on hold for over a year for the entire country. The case, known as United States v. Texas, has worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, and on April 18th, the eight current justices of the court will hear oral arguments for and against lifting the hold on the President’s immigration actions.
The stakes for California are so high that The California Endowment joined a group of civic, educational, religious, political and business leaders from across our state to make the case to the Supreme Court for the benefits of DAPA and an expanded DACA in a robust amicus brief, also known as a “friend of the court” brief in which those interested in a legal case provide information to help the judges, or in this case Supreme Court justices, put the case in greater context. Click here to continue reading the piece in its entirety at Huffington Post.com