Los Angeles — Equality California announced today that it plans to participate in an amicus brief to be filed with the U.S. Supreme Court following the Court’s announcement that it will hear a case challenging presidential orders extending provisional legal status of certain undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States.
Texas v. United States, filed by Texas and 25 other states, which challenges the authority of President Obama to enact the program Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and expand portions of another, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
DAPA would offer a legal reprieve to undocumented parents of U.S. citizens, as well as to permanent residents who have lived in the United States for at least five years, removing the constant fear of deportation under which many currently live. It would also allow many to receive work permits. DACA allows certain young people brought to the United States as children to apply for two-year work permits and exemptions from deportation. A Texas federal judge imposed a stay blocking the implementation of DAPA and the expansion of DACA in February of last year.
“California’s LGBT population includes an estimated quarter-million undocumented immigrants, so this is very much an LGBT issue,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “Lack of legal status is a life-and-death issue for many. Shut out of the Affordable Care Act, many HIV-positive immigrants have no access to life-saving drugs. Transgender immigrants are unable to get medical treatments they need. It is important that the Court restore the president’s executive orders, which begin to address the daily fear of deportation that many immigrants live with, but it’s time that we also honor their contributions with comprehensive immigration reform that includes a clear pathway to citizenship.”
Equality California is leading a collaborative of LGBT organizations to conduct outreach, education and enrollment assistance for anyone who may qualify for DACA and other naturalization programs, and to address the disparities in health and wellbeing of California’s LGBT undocumented immigrants. The court is expected to issue a ruling by June.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org