Supreme Court Rule Leaves Millions in Limbo

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its ruling in U.S. v. Texas, the case challenging Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The court came to a 4-4 tie, leaving the lower court decision in place. The enforcement of the Obama Administration’s 2014 deferred-action policy remains blocked by a nationwide injunction.

The 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program continues. It was not challenged in this lawsuit.

“This decision is a deeply disheartening setback that will only cause ongoing uncertainty for millions of individuals, their families and communities,” said Melissa Rodgers of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, director of the New Americans Campaign. “Today we stand with new Americans whose friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors will not have the opportunity to join in feeling secure that they can live and work in the country they call home.”

“Every day, the New Americans Campaign works with lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to help them become U.S. citizens, but for some, their parents do not have that privilege,” said Eric Cohen, executive director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. “This decision underscores the importance of our work: as LPRs become U.S. citizens, they gain a greater voice to weigh in on issues that affect their families and their communities.”

New Americans Campaign partners have the ability to refer immigrants to trustworthy legal help to screen for eligibility for other immigration relief, and caution against unscrupulous practitioners.

“We advise immigrant families to be aware of unscrupulous practitioners who may try to take advantage of vulnerable communities,” Rodgers added. “Always ask to see the credentials of all legal service providers, never sign blank forms, ask for a translation if needed and get copies of any papers filed for legal cases.”

Below are quotes from New Americans Campaign leadership:

“We are deeply disappointed that millions of families will continue to live under the threat of deportation, but our organization will continue to provide free assistance to local community members who are eligible for the original DACA program. Advancing Justice-LA remains committed to the fight to expand administrative relief to more undocumented immigrants, as well as the larger goal of an immigration system that  ensures all immigrants are safe from deportation, able to reunite with their families, and treated with dignity and respect.”
Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles

“Today’s decision leaves millions of families in an untenable situation. Millions of immigrants living in the shadows is not the answer. America deserves better than the Congressional dysfunction that puts our economic security and social fabric at risk.”
Ali Noorani, executive director, National Immigration Forum

“Today’s ruling on the president’s immigration actions is extremely disappointing and at odds with America’s longstanding tradition of welcoming immigrants from all over the world. We will continue to advocate for reforms to our broken immigration system until undocumented families living in the United States that have fled violence and despair receive the dignity and protections they deserve.”
Jennifer Sime, Senior Vice-President of U.S. Programs, International Rescue Committee

“We’re extremely disappointed. The tied vote means millions of long-term U.S. residents continue to be blocked from the chance to live with their families without fear of deportation, while working legally and attaining a college education. It leaves millions of long-term U.S. residents in fear of law enforcement and at risk of mistreatment in the workplace, by landlords and from abusers due to threats of deportation. Those people, many of whom were brought to the U.S. as children, will continue to fear interactions with law enforcement agencies and continue to face mistreatment in the workplace and other settings because deportation looms as a threat.”
Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

“The court’s decision fails to recognize that the president was well within his legal authority to provide relief for millions of families, and that these actions would provide critical social and economic benefits to our country. We are disappointed and heartbroken at this disheartening moment for families who are part of our American fabric and contribute so much to our nation. Not only does it dash the hopes of individuals, but it keeps our country from reaping the rewards of the social and economic contributions these policies encourage. Our community remains steadfast in our commitment to keeping hardworking families together and we will keep fighting for a permanent solution.”
Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO

Posted on June 23, 2016

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  • The Campaign has completed over 3,700 naturalization workshops and clinics.
  • Over 250,000 citizenship applications completed since July 2011.

    Saved aspiring citizens and their families over $206million in legal and application fees.
  • Adopted scalable technology. MP3 players, Google Voice, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are being used to enhance naturalization service delivery.
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  • Were instrumental in inspiring the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to support the Citizenship Corners initiative.
  • Created innovative partnerships with public libraries, school districts, universities, social service agencies, and employers, all of which yield not only greater numbers of applicants but also greater awareness of the naturalization process.
  • Deployed a large-scale volunteer recruitment program through an e-learning course.

    Reached diverse communities. Local partners consistently outreach and provide culturally competent and language-appropriate services.
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People come to America from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families and calling this great nation home. Eight million people who live, work, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. Find out more about these individuals and the barriers they face.Read More