Friday, November 16 , 2018, 2:40 pm | Fair 69º


Central Coast Immigrant Families Grieve Supreme Court Failure to Rule on Obama Immigration Order

In a split 4-4 vote Thursday, June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court failed to rule on President Obama’s executive order granting deportation relief and work authorization for nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants, including parents of U.S. citizens and adults brought to the country as children.

In the rare cases of a split decision due to situations like the sudden death of a Supreme Court justice, the lower court’s decision stands, meaning the hold on the program ordered by the Fifth Circuit court in Texas will continue indefinitely.

“The Supreme Court’s failure to rule on DAPA is devastating news for tens of thousands of families here in the Central Coast and for millions across the country,” said Maricela Morales, executive director of CAUSE. “It raises the stakes for our community to turn out in November to vote down the anti-immigrant politicians who are trying to separate our families.”

CAUSE estimates there are approximately 72,000 undocumented immigrants in Ventura County and 39,000 in Santa Barbara County as of 2014, a number which has held steady and slightly declined in recent years. The executive order would have granted relief to nearly half of all undocumented immigrants in the country.

Immigrant families are living in a state of heightened fear due to rising hostility towards immigrants in the national political climate.

Now, many families who saw a glimmer of hope in a program that would have granted millions the ability to live, work and take care of their families in peace are once again cast into the daily fear of parents being taken away from their children by federal agents.

This also means that the future of immigration policy in the United States will be decided by the 2016 election.

If the next president chooses to pursue an executive order like President Obama’s DAPA proposal, it will be heard by the Supreme Court, and likely the deciding vote will be cast by a Supreme Court justice the new president appoints.

If not, millions of immigrant families will continue to live in fear.

Immigrants’ rights organizations across the country are coming together right now to figure out how to move forward through legal action and political advocacy.

The orginal DACA program for young Dreamers is not affected by this decision. Young people eligible for work permits and deportation relief will continue to have DACA protection and can continue to reapply to get their status renewed.

CAUSE is a Ventura County- and Santa Barbara County-based nonprofit organization founded in 2001, dedicated to building grassroots power for social, economic and environmental justice for the people of the Central Coast region through policy research, leadership development, community organizing and advocacy.

— Lucas Zucker is the policy and communications director at CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy).


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