Latin American Immigrant Families Will Continue to Fight for Justice and Equality Under the Law
5th Circuit Court of Appeals Denies Implementation of Immigration Relief Measures. The Only Way Forward is Through Greater Education, Organizing and Mobilization.
Chicago, IL – The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), is deeply disappointed by the decision today of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denying the US Department of Justice’s request for an emergency stay in the anti-immigrant lawsuit, Texas v. United States of America. Texas Federal Judge Andrew Hanen had enjoined President Obama’s immigration actions in mid-February, temporarily halting the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expanded limits for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). “The best response to the decision announced yesterday afternoon by the 3-judge panel from the 5th Circuit, would for the Obama administration to broaden the administrative relief measures intended to protect hard working immigrants from highly racist and xenophobic immigration laws. Ultimately, we must redouble our efforts to gradually change these policies and turn back the racist narrative that dominates public debate about immigration policies,” said Oscar Chacon, NALACC’s Executive Director.
The ongoing damage inflicted to the near 3.4 million parents who could benefit under Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) is reflected in the stories of Rosana, Eugenia and Cristina, three undocumented mothers who have been contributing to the U.S. economy for more than a decade without retirement benefits, access to health care, or a driver’s license to go to work and drop their children at school.
“My U.S. citizen children are living in fear, every day. They fear becoming orphans if immigration deports me; they have no one but me to take care of them.” Cristina, a farmworker in Florida.
“Because of the DAPA suspension my dignity is in limbo, like I do not exist. I feel like the elected officials don’t value me as a person. I think they are not giving me my place to be recognized as a human being ...” Eugenia, undocumented worker in Chicago.
“Our employer locked us in a room with very low temperatures, without adequate clothing, we were not allowed to go to the restroom, he made us work almost all day with no breaks, I became ill with allergies because of pesticides, as they didn’t provide us adequate protection. If we complained they threatened us with calling immigration to deport us.” Rosana, community organizer in Florida.
NALACC has been a pioneer proponent of Administrative Action since 2009, and most recently through its “Power of the Pen” campaign (www.thepowerofthepen.net), which called on President Obama to use his Executive Authority to protect immigrants from deportation. NALACC and its allies will continue informing, supporting and organizing the community in their efforts to prepare for the implementation phase of the expanded DACA and DAPA programs. We are hopeful that these programs will finally be implemented, and relief will be brought to thousands of immigrant families.