In an amicus brief filed this week, the National Council of Asian and Pacific Americans (NCAPA), along with 11 of its member groups, joined more than 200 immigration, civil rights, and social justice organizations in urging the Supreme Court to lift the injunction against President Obama's executive actions on immigration.
The brief comes as the Obama administration filed a request last month urging the Supreme Court to take up the case on the president's immigration actions, which have been stalled due to a lawsuit from 26 states, led by Texas.
"We call on the Supreme Court to uphold the president's immigration actions that would provide relief from deportation to many of the 1.5 million undocumented Asian immigrants in this country,” Margaret Fung, executive director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) told NBC News in a statement. AALDEF is one of the many groups continuing to advise individuals and families in the community while the process has stalled.
Among the many who would benefit from the president's executive actions, according to the amicus brief, are Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas, who immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines when he was 12, but did not discover he was undocumented until he was 16.
When the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was first announced, Vargas missed the cut-off by a few months. But under the president's executive actions, he would qualify for the newly-expanded DACA.
The brief includes the names and stories of more than a dozen immigrants lists 15 immigrants, including Vargas, a Vietnamese mother in Houston, and a Thai engineering student in Irvine, Calif. — all who would be covered under the programs' protections.
"Undocumented immigrants have waited for over a decade for immigration reform, and DACA and DAPA are their only reprieve provided the absence of legislation,” Ken Lee, CEO of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), which co-chairs the NCAPA immigration committee, said in a statement Tuesday. “Our Justices have an obligation to our country to hear the case, and we are hopeful the Justices will make the right decision.”