News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 20, 2015: Recently, the Boulder Weekly newspaper of Colorado ran a story on Venancio Noya, a Mexican immigrant who was brought to the state from Veracruz, Mexico by his parents at age 5 for better medical treatment and a better quality of life for the disease Spina Bifida, or an incomplete closure of the spinal column.
Today, Noya is able to work and help provide for his family, thanks to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the federal program that President Obama initiated through an executive order in June of 2012. It allowed young people to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation for two years at a time while legally obtaining work authorization.
But an attempt by the President in November 2014 to expand DACA remains blocked by a court too caught up in politics to understand that they are ruining millions of lives like Noya’s.
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on November 9th upheld a lower court injunction that halted a key component of the Administration’s executive action on the immigration plan.
It all relates to an expansion of the previously implemented DACA and a similar policy intended to provide relief from deportation and work authorization for certain undocumented individuals with U.S. citizen children or children in lawful permanent resident status. That policy, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), in combination with DACA’s expansion, will provide deportation relief and work authorization for as many as five million people.
But in December 2014, 26 states filed a lawsuit in Texas to prevent the Federal government from moving forward with the policy initiatives. In February 2015, the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas blocked the Administration from moving forward with its policy. The November 9, 2015 ruling by the Fifth Circuit upholds the injunction put in place by the District Court.
Now the administration’s only recourse is to take it to the U.S. Supreme Court next year and hope they hear the case soon. It certainly will be a good time especially since we will be in the throes of a decision during the summer of a race for the next President and it obviously will not auger well for the GOP.
Let’s pray the justices of the Supreme Court will decide that President Obama has the authority to enact these executive actions as head of this nation. The lives of so many good, hardworking immigrants depend on it even as the outcome has serious political ramifications.
As New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said recently, the decision is disappointing but not deterring, especially since “millions of immigrant families with deep roots in this country will benefit from immigration action.” We can only hope that millions in the shadow see the light at the end of a dark tunnel in 2016.