Praise For Supreme Court Decision To Hear Immigration Case

by Elizabeth Elizalde

Immigrants and immigration advocates immediately praised the Supreme Court decision to hear the legal challenge to President Obama’s immigration program.

“We are thrilled that the highest court in our land, the U.S Supreme Court has heard the voices of America’s immigrant communities, and will now take up the case of immigration relief. They have the opportunity to finally give our communities the justice they deserve, and allow millions of immigrants to change their lives for the better,” said Steven Choi, executive director of New York Immigration Coalition, in a statement. 

In the fall of 2014, President Obama created a program to give 5 million undocumented immigrants legal status and the opportunity to apply for work permits. The plan, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) complimented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would have been extended. 

Attorneys General from 26 states objected and the Texas Attorney filed a lawsuit to block the reforms. reported, in February 2015, that Texas Federal Judge Andrew Hanen ruled against the order and halted the expansion of DACA and the implementation of DAPA. That left people who qualify in limbo because while the U.S. appealed, the Federal Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans upheld the injunction.

Now the Supreme Court plans to hear the case of United States v. Texas in April and make its decision by late June. 

“Millions of families have been waiting for this moment, including mine,” tweeted Erika Andiola, an undocumented activist who heads the “Latinos for Bernie Sanders” campaign.  

The news comes after recent sweeps by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to roundup undocumented Central American families, some of whom were detained and await deportation.

On the campaign trail, support and opposition to the Obama initiatives fall along party lines. Democratic candidates promise to continue the program. But most Republican candidates challenge the president’s authority to act without Congressional approval and vow to shut them down. 

The White House says it plans to move quickly to implement DAPA, if the Supreme Court rules its favor.