Supreme Court: Fight for Families, Rule for Justice

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#FightforFamilies, #RuleforJustice

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in DAPA/DACA+ Case 

This Monday, April 18, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of United States v. Texas, otherwise known as the "DAPA/DACA+" case. At issue is the implementation of two programs providing administrative relief from deportation for some five million undocumented immigrants. The programs have been blocked due to a lawsuit by Texas and 25 other states, and lower court battles have ensued over the past year.

The two programs at stake--DAPA, or the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, and DACA+, an expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program--were part of President Obama's executive action on immigration in November 2014.

Communities Rally at the Court

Busloads of immigrant community members, activists, advocates, and allies from several points along the East coast and Southeast will travel to D.C., while rallies will also take place in many other cities around the country in support of DAPA/DACA+, a scarce "bright light" in immigration. The 2012 DACA program has provided temporary relief from deportation for over 700,000 young undocumented immigrants.

For Obama, implementation of DAPA/DACA+ would provide another legacy point in his presidential profile; he is known as the "Deporter-in-Chief," with well over 2 million deportations of immigrant men, women and children under his Administration.

As NNIRR commented when the executive action was announced in 2014, the programs would leave the majority of undocumented immigrants vulnerable to deportation; it failed to address visa backlogs or Central American refugee childen; and called for more border enforcement. But even with its shortcomings, it was an important step towards addressing the consequences of a deeply flawed immigration policy.

The Texas lawsuit against the programs comes from the same conservative forces that have blocked any positive immigration reform legislation, and today, continue to call for mass deportations.

The April 18 hearing will include 90 minutes of testimony: Texas and other states in the suit will have 30 minutes; the federal government (on behalf of Obama's proposal), 35 minutes; 15 minutes for the House of Representatives (undoubtedly from the perspective of the Republican majority); and 10 minutes will go to Thomas Saenz, of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), which represents three undocumented immigrant women--so-called "Jane Does" who are "intervenors" in the case--who sought to speak how they (and millions of others) would benefit from the programs.

The Supreme Court is not expected to rule on the case until late June. The ruling could go various ways according to Court watchers. The Court could rule in favor of the Administration and the programs could start soon; it could uphold the lower court ruling that had sided with the states' argument; there could be a 4-4 tie, and DAPA/DACA+ could still be held up, with the potential for final rulings by the lower court. And maybe another court might rule that the program could go forward. Or a majority in the Court might say that Texas and the other states never had standing--the right--to bring the case against the program in the first place and throw the suit out entirely.

Until the Court's decision, the fight continues to stop the deportations and organize for a humane and just immigration policy.

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Let's Not Forget #Fix96: 

End the mass criminalization of immigrants

The Immigrant Justice Network (IJN) has just sent out a timely reminder of the need to Fix '96 -- to roll back the 1996 immigration laws, now 20 years old, that have largely contributed to the massive detention and deportation of immigrants. In a new infographic, they urge that the next President must commit to ending the criminalization of immigrants.

Click here for downloadable advocacy tools.

The IJN "envisions communities that are healthy and thriving, instead of ones torn apart by unfair and discriminatory policing, incarceration and deportation." It is a collaboration between the Immigrant Defense Project, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer's Guild and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

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Have you signed the petition to end tax breaks for private prisons?

Please join NNIRR and our partners in the Private Prison Divestment Campaign to call for an end to tax breaks for private prisons.

Two private prison industry giants, GEO and CCA (Corrections Corporation of America), were given a "Real Estate Investment Trust" (REIT) status in 2013. This status has created a loophole which gives them and their investors huge tax breaks on their profits from incarcerating people of color and immigrants -- over $113 million last year alone!

Click here NOW to sign the petition to the U.S. Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation, to revoke REIT status for private prison companies. The petition will be delivered during the upcoming National Week of Action.

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