Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


OLYMPIA Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced the filing of an amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief in a federal appellate court, as he continued to lead an expanding coalition of states in support of President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration policy. The brief was filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas v. United States, a legal challenge by Texas and other states to the President’s immigration reforms.

The Washington State Attorney’s General Office authored the brief, which was joined by the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

“The President’s actions are not only legally sound, they will help our communities on a human level, as well as benefiting Washington and other states economically,” said Ferguson. “Allowing undocumented immigrants who have lived here for many years to come out of the shadows, work legally, and better support their families helps all of us.”

On February 16th, a federal district court judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction in the case, halting implementation of the Administration’s policies.  The Justice Department has appealed that injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Washington and the other states filed their brief with the appellate court in support of that appeal.

In their brief, the states argue that the district court erred in concluding that the immigration directives would harm states.  Rather than presenting a burden, the Obama Administration’s actions — enabling working families to participate more fully in American society, earn a fair, legal wage and pay their fair share of taxes — benefit the states by raising revenue and reducing demand for social services.

The coalition states also argue that, should the court of appeals uphold the district court’s preliminary injunction, that injunction should be limited to Texas, the only state to have introduced evidence purporting to show it would suffer harm.  At the very least, the coalition asserts, the injunction should be confined to the plaintiff states that sued the Administration.

A link to the brief can be found here.

Deputy Solicitor General Anne Egeler and Solicitor General Noah Purcell are handling this case on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office.


The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.


Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov