NNIRR Deplores Supreme Court Immigration Ruling, Calls on Obama to Suspend Detentions and Deportations

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The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights joins members and allies in deploring the U.S. Supreme Court’s tied decision on President Obama’s proposal to bring temporary relief from deportation for upwards of 5 million undocumented immigrants.  

The 4-4 Supreme Court ruling means a lower court’s injunction against the implementation of the proposed programs -- “expanded DACA” and “DAPA” -- will remain in place. Instead of giving relief and a modicum of justice to millions of migrants and their families, the ruling, in effect, expands criminalization against our communities.

NNIRR Executive Director Catherine Tactaquin commented, “Clearly, this is a big disappointment to our communities, who continue to face the constant threat of deportation and separation from their families. The current situation cannot be tolerated. These punitive policies have to end.

“We urge the Administration to call off its immigration raids, and to suspend detentions and deportations. And we call on lawmakers to look beyond the elections, to engage in discussion and debate towards durable immigration reform legislation that is just and fair and respects human rights. We have to make sure that in the first place, immigrants have access to regular and safe channels to migrate.”

The Obama Administration has led in record-breaking deportations, and has filled detention centers with tens of thousands of men, women and children. While potential DACA-DAPA recipients have not been considered “priority” deportation targets by the Administration, many undocumented live in mixed status families and will continue to live under the threat of deportation.

W also acknowledge that President Obama’s November 2014 executive action that included the expanded DACA and DAPA was merely a “stop-gap” measure that actually would have excluded the majority of undocumented immigrants. It followed years of congressional impasse on any positive immigration reforms, effectively barring millions of undocumented -- who have lived and worked in the U.S. for many years, and who have raised their families here -- from an opportunity to meaningfully regularize their status.

The proposed programs would have expanded on the original October 2012 DACA – “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (which is unaffected and remains on place) for undocumented young immigrants and would have additionally benefitted parents of U.S. citizen children or children with legal permanent resident status. For these recipients, deportations would have temporarily been deferred and they could have received work authorizations. 

Texas and 25 other states had filed suit against the programs, leading to the injunction that has blocked implementation. Bill Chandler of the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA) reflected, "Here in Mississippi [one of the states in the lawsuit] this has the appearance of 'states’ rights over human rights.’" He continued, “While today’s misguided outcome is deeply disappointing, we will continue to fight locally and nationally until every member of our communities can live in dignity without fear of being separated from their families.”

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NNIRR’s commentary on President Obama’s November 2014 Executive Action can be found here.

Download a PDF version of the NNIRR press statement.

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