Wicker, Cochran Challenge Obama Immigration Executive Actions

43 Senators File Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court Case, Assert President’s Actions Violate Federal Immigration Law

April 4, 2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., signed an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court today that supports a state-led lawsuit challenging executive actions taken by President Obama to defer deportation of more than four million illegal immigrants.

Wicker and Cochran have consistently opposed the President’s November 2014 executive actions, and the amicus brief in United States v. Texas supports the contention that those actions violate federal law by infringing on congressional authority to establish U.S. immigration laws. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is one of the plaintiffs in the underlying case.

In November 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction by a federal district court in Brownsville, Texas, blocking the Obama administration from moving forward with its executive actions on immigration that are in violation of federal law. The Supreme Court has agreed to review the Fifth Circuit decision and is scheduled to hear arguments on April 18.

“The Executive has a constitutional duty to faithfully execute the immigration laws and, in so doing, may implement rules for the administration of those laws. Yet Congress has never given the Executive unchecked discretion to rewrite federal immigration policy or to fashion its own immigration code. In this case, the Executive sought to do precisely that by granting ‘lawful presence’—and the governmental benefits that come with it—and work authorization to over four million aliens who are illegally present in the United States and who are otherwise barred from working here or receiving federal benefits under the statutes that Congress has enacted,” the Senators’ amicus brief states.

“Given that the Executive has asserted that the acts challenged here are not even subject to judicial review, what is at stake in this matter is nothing less than an effort to supplant Congress’s constitutional power to ‘establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.’ Such an action stands in stark contravention to federal law and to the constitutional principle of the separation of powers,” the brief states.

Led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senators who signed the amicus brief include Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Cochran, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), David Perdue (R-N.C.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), John Thune (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), David Vitter (R-La.), and Wicker.

The amicus brief is available here: http://1.usa.gov/1Vrn4EM