Representing Professional Economists, Ropes & Gray Attorneys Submit Amicus Curiae Brief in U.S. v. Texas

In The News
March 8, 2016

Ropes & Gray filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Texas on behalf of 13 professional economists and scholars in related fields supporting the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“expanded DACA”) initiatives. From economic, fiscal, and public policy perspectives, the brief discusses the benefits of permitting DAPA and expanded DACA recipients to apply for work authorization while they are present in the United States. 

Drawing on a broad range of academic and government research, the brief shows that work authorization has direct effects on the wages and economic opportunities of deferred action recipients and also offers indirect positive benefits for their families. The economic literature projects a 6 to 15% increase in wages when workers become authorized. The broader economic and public policy benefits of offering work authorization include projected increases in Social Security and tax revenues and GDP, as well as increasing access to worker protections for all workers, not just the newly authorized. Extending the ability to request work authorization will also level the playing field for U.S. businesses that comply with the law by hiring only authorized workers; decreasing the pool of unauthorized workers diminishes the competitive advantage of businesses that break the rules.

The brief further discusses the fact that allowing deferred action recipients to apply for work authorization would benefit millions of native-born U.S. citizens and other lawful permanent residents who are in DAPA and DACA families. Finally, the brief discusses evidence showing that countervailing negative effects are unlikely to accrue to native-born and other previously authorized workers from making DAPA/expanded DACA recipients eligible to seek work authorization.

The Ropes & Gray team included appellate & Supreme Court partner Doug Hallward-Driemeier.