California urges Supreme Court to back Obama on immigration

Business, law enforcement, education and religious leaders in California joined forces yesterday to urge the Supreme Court to uphold the plan for immigration reform set out by President Barack Obama. The plan offers work permits and relief from the threat of deportation to up to five million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

The California leaders insist the state is being made better, stronger and more prosperous by working immigrants with families. That is a stance that is in stark contrast to the one adopted by Texas, which believes the amount of undocumented immigrants in the state and indeed the country is an unacceptable burden and has – as a result – taken the government to court in order to stop the President’s executive actions.

Around a fourth of all the undocumented immigrants in the United States live in California; they account for 34 percent of all farm workers, 22 percent of production workers and 21 percent of construction workers, an amicus brief filed by the state claims. They added that according to some estimates, up to 60 percent of the farm workers in California could be undocumented immigrants.

The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program would protect and offer work permits to around 1.1 million undocumented immigrants in California whose children hold US citizenship, with a UCLA study cited in the brief alleging that the program would create 130,000 new jobs just in California, in addition to supporting public programs. The case is to be heard by the Supreme Court on the 18th of next month.