Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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Smith, Cornyn, Cruz, Goodlatte File Brief on President’s Unconstitutional Immigration Actions

May 11, 2015
Press Release

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) – in conjunction with the American Center for Law and Justice – today filed an amicus brief with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a continued injunction against President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration in the case of Texas v. United States. The amicus brief states that the President’s unilaterally created deferred action programs for unlawful immigrants are unconstitutional and are contrary to congressional intent. A total of 88 Members of Congress and 25 Senators signed the brief.

In December, numerous states – led by the State of Texas – filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration. Congressman Smith, Senator Cornyn, Senator Cruz, and Chairman Goodlatte signed an amicus brief submitted to the federal court in support of the states’ lawsuit. On February 17, 2015 a federal judge temporarily blocked President Obama’s unilateral immigration actions. Since then, political appointees at the Justice Department have filed an appeal to lift the injunction. Oral arguments were heard by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on April 17, 2015.

Congressman Smith, Senator Cornyn, Senator Cruz, and Chairman Goodlatte issued the statements below after filing this brief in federal court.

Congressman Smith: “We will continue to stand with the American people, the rule of law, and our Constitution. I am encouraged by today’s strong congressional support for the Texas-led, 26-state lawsuit seeking to stop the president’s executive immigration actions. I urge the courts to check the overreaching power of the executive branch. We must do everything possible to halt the president’s unprecedented and unreasonable actions.”

Senator Cornyn: “President Obama’s unconstitutional immigration actions are an affront to the rule of law. Judge Hanen correctly ruled that the President exceeded his authority when he circumvented Congress to rewrite our immigration laws, and I am confident future courts will agree.”

Senator Cruz: “Twenty-two times President Obama told Americans that he did not have the power to grant unilateral amnesty. And yet, the President has unlawfully granted amnesty to millions who came here illegally. A federal judge rightfully ruled against his actions, and I hope the Court of Appeals affirms this decision. President Obama’s amnesty is in defiance of the people and of Congress, and I am proud to stand with my colleagues in defense of the rule of law.”

Chairman Goodlatte: “President Obama’s decision to ignore the limits placed on his power and act unilaterally to rewrite our nation’s immigration laws are an affront to the Constitution. The President himself stated over 20 times that he does not have the authority to change immigration laws on his own yet he did so anyway. Such lawlessness must be stopped so that we preserve the separation of powers in the Constitution and protect individual liberty.”