On Wednesday, the National Education Association joined a throng of interest groups in filing an amicus brief that urges the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold President Barack Obama’s executive order providing temporary amnesty and work permits for up to 5 million illegal immigrants.
Obama’s 2014 amnesty program, called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, would relieve these several million illegal immigrants from the danger of deportation — and furnish them with work permits — as long as they are parents of children with legal status.
The Obama amnesty ran into a serious snag in 2015 after a coalition of 26 states — including Texas — filed a lawsuit in Brownsville, Texas asserting that Obama has zero authority to issue the executive order for mass amnesty.
The lawsuit, United States v. Texas, has wound its way to the Supreme Court after a federal district judge determined that Obama acted illegally, and after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court decision (with a split decision, 2-1).
The district court judge’s order preventing Obama’s executive order is a preliminary injunction which remains in effect today.
National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García said Obama’s temporary amnesty is necessary to keep the children of millions of illegal immigrants together with their families.
“If not reversed, the lower court’s ruling will harm the health and education of millions of children faced with separation from their parents, who are aspiring new Americans afraid to come out from the shadows of society,” García said in a statement sent to The Daily Caller. “The decision impacts mothers, fathers, neighbors, friends, and, yes, our students.”
“A growing number of public school students live in fear that our nation’s immigration policies are breaking up their families, forcing them to choose between their country and their loved ones,” García also said.
“Children whose parents face removal from the United States are more likely to suffer a host of harms, particularly to their educational opportunities and psychosocial wellbeing,” the teachers union boss added. “These young people deserve the very best education and support we can give them. The United States has been their home. They have celebrated their birthdays, attended school, and dreamed their dreams right here in the USA.”
García also explained that America’s largest teachers union supports comprehensive immigration reform.
A group of business, community and religious leaders has also offered support for Obama’s amnesty.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the white-hot political debate over this issue,” California Restaurant Association chief executive Jot Condie, told the Los Angeles Times. “But for us, this simply comes down to people — our fellow churchgoers, classmates, neighbors and hard-working individuals. Millions of loving families hang in the balance. Kicking the can on immigration reform can no longer be an option.”
Lawyers for the Obama administration have argued that the 26 states suing the federal government have no standing to sue in this instance because Obama’s executive action affects people living in states and not state laws. They also argue that states have no say in immigration policy as a matter of constitutional law.
Lawyers for the 26 states argue — and lower courts at two levels have agreed — that the states do have standing to sue because Obama’s executive action forces them to undertake financial burdens. The 5th Circuit also determined that the Immigration and Nationality Act “flatly does not permit” Obama or any president to use an executive order to provide temporary amnesty and work permits.
Since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month, the U.S. Supreme Court employs only eight judges. The absence of Scalia makes the possibility that the Supreme Court will allow the Obama amnesty more likely.
In the event of a 4-4 tie in the Supreme Court, the result would be that the appellate decision to prevent the executive order would stand.
Oral arguments at the Supreme Court are scheduled for April 18.
Last year, the National Education Association provided substantial support for a militant group in Wisconsin that spends its time and energy organizing angry anti-police protests.
The group, Wisconsin Jobs Now, has variously declared that Wisconsin’s police officers are racists, killers and animals. A generous $125,000 contribution from the NEA is the only income or revenue Wisconsin Jobs Now reported in 2014.
In November 2014, shortly after the world-historical losses suffered by the Democrats her union heartily supported, García, the NEA president, sought to rally support for new laws forcing taxpayers to foot all or part of the college tuition costs for anyone who becomes a teacher. (RELATED: Teachers Union Demands Free College For Teachers)
The NEA, which spends millions of dollars each election cycle on campaign speech, has also zealously endorsed a constitutional amendment that would limit everyone else’s ability to spend money speaking about politics. (RELATED: Teachers Union Wants To Amend Constitution To Limit EVERYONE ELSE’S Campaign Speech)