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Immigration Reform News Today: Rep. Joaquin Castro Hopes DACA, DAPA Lawsuit Will Be Resolved Quickly

First Posted: Apr 03, 2015 05:00 AM EDT

Several months have passed since President Barack Obama announced his immigration executive actions, but despite a district court judge's temporary injunction, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, is confident the deferred action programs will be implemented.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) hosted a press call about the fiscal benefits of Obama's two deferred action programs - the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs. The two programs would grant approximately 4.9 million eligible undocumented immigrants the opportunity to stay in the U.S., avoid deportation for three years and obtain a work permit.

According to Marshall Fitz, vice president of immigration policy for CAP, DACA and DAPA's implementation would provide an average of 28,800 new jobs during the next 10 years, while increasing the U.S. GDP by $230 billion during the same time span.

Castro said the topic of immigration is a personal issue for him since his mother emigrated from Mexico when she was six years old. Castro, who represents western San Antonio and Bexar County in Texas, acknowledged the temporary injunction placed by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas' Brownsville Division.

Must Read: Rep. Joaquin Castro Named House Democratic Chief Deputy Whip 

The temporary injunction was in favor by current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who originally filed the lawsuit while he was finishing his term as the Lone Star State's attorney general. Abbott claimed Obama overreached his executive privileges and the implementation of the deferred action programs would cause a financial strain for Texas. Since becoming governor, current Attorney General Ken Paxton has helped lead the coalition of 25 other states seeking to block DACA and DAPA.

Castro said part of the immigration executive lawsuit debate is the "reluctance" by Abbott and the other governors and attorney generals engaged in the lawsuit to be "honest" with themselves. He also said the problem with the lawsuit's plaintiffs is that they are not "accepting the history and the reality" of immigration. Castro acknowledged that many U.S. industries would not have strived if it wasn't for immigration.

The Mexican-American congressman mentioned Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and the House of Representatives not picking up the Senate's comprehensive immigration legislation despite having the numbers to approve the bill at the time. Castro said Obama acted because Congress failed to act. Castro noted that Abbott "fails to understand that the right strategy is what the president has been pursuing."

"I hope that this case will be resolved quickly," continued Castro, adding that "in due course," Obama's immigration executive actions' deferred action programs will be viewed as constitutional.

The lawsuit, led by Texas, includes Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The CAP noted the House's inaction to pass the Senate bill has cost the U.S. more than $23.3 billion.


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