The announcement of the recent Supreme Court decision comes as little surprise to those who have followed the case.
The State of Texas originally challenged President Obama’s authority to provide deportation relief and work authorization to nearly 4.4 million undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents under the 2014 Deferred Action for Parental Accountability executive action (DAPA), as well as a broader group of undocumented youth under an expanded version of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
The split 4-4 decision allows the Lower 5th Circuit Court decision against the administration to stand.
Much of the news cycle amongst advocates has focused on the devastating consequences of the continued injunction for families and the economy. The faces of those affected are all over social media, both tearful and in defiant resolve to continue to the fight.
In a context of extreme political uncertainty, what can advocates do, and what have they in fact been doing, to continue to better the lives of immigrants in the United States, including the 11 million of whom live in fear of deportation every day?
First, continue to challenge the current deportation of 400,000 immigrants a year, and hold those purportedly pro-DAPA politicians (including the President himself) accountable for their commitment to immigrant rights.
The status quo in this country, thanks to the Republican Party, but also with lots of help from Democrats, has been a security-first approach. This has led to the terrorization of countless (and largely Latino) communities, under the guise of national security and order.
Both the sitting President and frontrunner candidates have effectively promoted continued large scale deportation. While the President’s revamped priorities under “PEP-COMM” would make DAPA-eligible immigrants a low priority for deportation, the discretion of immigration agents makes no guarantee that these policies will be respected.
By Shannon Gleeson for The Hill
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