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Immigrant Rights Groups Ask 5th Circuit To Stop Order Releasing Undocumented Immigrant Information

Mohammad Abdollahi
Potential Applicants for DACA in 2014

Two groups are asking the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to stop a judge’s order that would give private information about undocumented immigrants to states. The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center are filing an emergency petition.

Last year, Texas and 25 other states filed a lawsuit objecting to President Obama’s expansion of the program known as DACA which allows immigrants to stay in the United States if they meet certain requirements.

Then in May, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen  in Brownsville ordered the federal government to provide the names of those immigrants and information about those immigrants to the 26 states.

ACLU Attorney Omar Jadwat says the immigrants affected expected their information to be kept private when they applied for the DACA program.

“The big legal problem here is there is actually no reason – no conceivable, legitimate, legal reason – why anyone, the court, the plaintiff states, why anyone involved in the Texas case needs any of this personal information for any of the 50,000 people on the list,” Jadwat says.

Angelica Viallobos of Oklahoma is one of the petitioners. She is afraid her information will fall into the wrong hands.

“It worries me that the private information of teenagers, young people, parents, and friends could get into the hands of anti-immigrant extremists that could target our families by harassing them or attempting to harm them.”

The information provided would only affect a specific group of DACA recipients living in the 26 states suing the government. The deadline for the federal government to release the names to the 26 states isJune 10.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules