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Frosh joins brief supporting Obama immigration actions

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh

WASHINGTON -- Maryland has joined 11 other states on a friend-of-the-court-brief supporting President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration in a high-profile federal lawsuit brought by the state of Texas.

The decision is arguably the first instance in which Maryland's new Democratic Attorney General, Brian E. Frosh, has weighed into a national debate.

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Twelve states and the District of Columbia filed the brief in support of Obama in Texas v. United States. Texas and 17 other states sued the federal government late last year, arguing that Obama did not have the authority to defer deportation for millions of immigrants in the country illegally.

"I am convinced that the president's action is well within the authority of the nation's chief executive," Frosh said a statement. "Far from harming Maryland, the federal government directives offer a sorely-needed step forward on immigration that will benefit all Marylanders."

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Under the actions announced by Obama in November, undocumented immigrants who are the parents of U.S. citizens will be allowed to defer the threat of deportation for three years and apply for work permits, as long as they meet a host of other requirements including criminal background checks.

The administration is also expanding a 2012 program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that allowed immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday to apply for relief.

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