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IRLI Files Brief in the Ninth Circuit in Support of Arizona’s Right to Refuse Benefits to Illegal Al


Returning the Rule of Law to the People of Arizona

May 31, 2016

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief (attached here) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in support of the State of Arizona who was sued by an illegal alien pressure group to force the state into granting eligibility for driver’s licenses to millions of illegal aliens falling under the Obama Administration’s lawless Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In the case of Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer (Civil Action No. 15-15307), Arizona is asking the full Ninth Circuit to hear the case and reverse a three-judge panel of the court who ruled in April that Arizona’s policy is preempted by federal law.

In its brief, IRLI argued that the three-judge panel’s holding that DHS’s current policy—as opposed to congressional intent evidenced through statutes—can preempt a sovereign state’s authority conflicts with Supreme Court precedent and sets a dangerous precedent, giving an executive branch agency open-ended authority to ignore federal law. IRLI also argued that the three-judge panel’s deferred action and lawful presence theory ignores the immigration classifications that congress created because (1) DACA is contrary to the admission doctrine contained in the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA); (2) DACA is contrary to Congress’s policy to deny employment to illegal aliens; (3) Congress has rejected an almost identical statutory classification by failing to adopt the DREAM Act; and (4) the provisions for authority relied upon by the panel evidence no preemptive intent and are narrower than the panel claims.

Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director, commented, “The three-judge panel’s decision that DHS’s current enforcement decision related to DACA aliens can preempt Arizona state law violates basic preemption and federalism principles.” Wilcox further commented, “In its brief today, IRLI urges the full court to hear the case to clarify that Congress, not an executive branch agency acting outside of congressional intent, can preempt state law. We will continue the fight for federalism and states’ rights and hold this administration accountable to the rule of law.”


IRLI is a supporting organization of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

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