Media Contact

Matt Levin, ACLU of Texas, 772-529-4365, media@aclutx.org

January 28, 2021

HOUSTON — Two Texas groups — FIEL and RAICES — represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Texas, moved to intervene in a Texas lawsuit that seeks to block the Biden administration’s 100-day moratorium on deportations.

The Biden administration announced the policy last week, and the State of Texas challenged it in court. Hours after an emergency hearing, the ACLU filed an amicus brief late Friday supporting the Biden administration, which is followed by today’s motion to intervene.

The following comments are from:

Kate Huddleston, attorney for the ACLU of Texas: “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton cannot force this administration to keep Trump’s xenophobic policies. The 100-day deportation pause and immediate immigration reforms are critical first steps in ensuring all people are treated with dignity and fairness. Our clients have seen and experienced the damage caused by the Trump administration and seek to intervene to ensure their concerns are heard.”

Tami Goodlette, director of litigation for RAICES: “Trump might be out of sight, but make no mistake: supporters of his like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will continue to make the lives of immigrants impossible. RAICES is not willing to let that happen. We are seeking to intervene in this lawsuit because the 100-day moratorium on removals can drastically and positively impact the lives of our clients and we are committed to fighting for them every step of the way.”

Cesar Espinosa, executive director of FIEL: “We are proud to join the ACLU in protecting the immigrant community. The current past administration was very detrimental to our community, so we are looking for all possible avenues to continue to defend our members. We hope to send a clear message that just like those who seek to do us harm, we will not back down. We will organize our community in the streets, walk the halls of Congress and continue to stand up for our families in court.”

Cody Wofsy, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project: “The deportation pause will give the new administration a fair chance to reassess immigration enforcement after four years of lawless Trump policies. Our clients and the affected communities know the stakes are life and death.”