Activists all over the country are promising to continue the fight and are expecting the Supreme Court to confirm the legality of the measures implemented by President Barack Obama to provide immigration relief to some 5 million undocumented migrants.
“We’re not going to surrender,” undocumented activist Maria Bilbao told EFE on Tuesday from Nevada. She is one of the parents of children who are U.S. citizens waiting for the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA.
On Monday, in a 2-1 vote, a panel of judges with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, based in New Orleans, ruled against two key administration measures designed to prevent the deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants.
Thus, the blocking of Deferred Action, or DACA, for young immigrants and its equivalent for parents (DAPA) will be kept in place for at least several months until the Supreme Court issues its own ruling.
Until then, “we’ll keep up the fight,” said Mauricio Jimenez, with the Make the Road New York movement, one of the people who went on a hunger strike for nine days before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals building before the ruling.
DACA, since 2012, has protected from deportation more than half a million young people who were brought into the country illegally as children, and DAPA, which still has not been implemented, would benefit the parents of U.S. citizens or legal residents.
The plaintiffs fighting those programs are a coalition of 26 states, most of them Republican-run and headed by Texas, who claim that Obama’s executive measures on immigration are too big a change in national policy for the president to make without congressional authorization.
Marielena Hincapie, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said in a communique that history has shown that “progress is inevitable,” and she confirmed that her organization remains ready to continue the fight for immigrants’ rights in the courts, the communities and at the polls.
Civil rights campaigner and United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta, who is in Milwaukee on Tuesday for a march against the “anti-immigrant rhetoric” in the Republican presidential debates, said the court’s decision was “fundamentally incorrect.”
In a teleconference organized by the Vox de la Frontera group, Huerta urged Latinos to vote in the presidential election in 2016 and to hold Republicans accountable at the polls “for their efforts to break up families.”
Oscar Chacon, the executive director of Alianza Americas, told EFE that the court ruling was not a surprise and he lamented the fact that Obama had waited so long to issue his executive action orders.
“Now the president must appeal to the Supreme Court for a final decision during the summer of 2016,” he said, because – if not – the fate of immigration relief “will remain mainly in the hands of the next occupant of the White House,” who might be a Republican.
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