On Tuesday, when the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program was scheduled to start shielding from deportation and authority harassment illegal immigrants that are parents of U.S. citizens or young people that legally reside in the country, hundreds of Latinos went on rallies to protest against the federal injunction that put on hold the program.
DAPA is one of President Obama’s two executive actions that were designed to protect about four millions of illegal immigrants from deportation and grant them temporary work permits. But the actions were contested in both Congress and court for being unconstitutional.
In February, Texas judge Andrew Hanen issued an injunction against Obama’s immigration reform at the request of 26 states who claimed that the executive actions would damage their economies.
On the other hand, 13 states backed the executive actions because they believe granting 4.1 million undocumented immigrants legal status would allow them to collect more taxes.
On Tuesday, protesters said that the day was supposed to let them “come out of shadows” and not be fearful of deportation anymore. Many of them said that there is a strong feeling of “disappointment” among the Latino community for not being able to apply for the presidential immigration program.
Protesters said that they had all documents needed to apply, such as the birth certificates of their U.S.-born children, passports and evidence that they paid property taxes like all residents do. If DAPA is rejected, those adults will be separated from their families and sent back to their home countries.
In Texas, dozens of protesters even went to the governor’s home to express their discontent with the lawsuit filed by the state late last year, which led to the temporary injunction that put millions of them in uncertainty.
They said that allegations that the state would be economically ruined if DAPA was enacted were simply not true. They have evidence that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a presidential program designed to shield from deportation immigrants that arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, was successful. They claim that under DACA, their youth could gain legal status, have a job and contribute to the economy by paying their taxes.
Thirty more protests were expected across the country on the DAPA national day of action. Immigrants want their voices to be heard on what they are facing in their everyday life because of their illegal status.
“Our intention is to show that DACA is working right now and that we know DAPA and the expansion of DACA will also work,”
one of the leaders of the protesters said.
Protesters also warned Republicans that they could face “consequences” in next year’s election if they continue opposing immigration reform. More than 100 Republicans signed a legal document to express their full support for the federal injunction.
Image Source: Latin Post