A federal court of appeals recently denied the Obama administration’s request to lift a hold on the president’s set of executive actions on immigration.
The actions were set to grant work permits and protection from deportation for millions of immigrants currently living in the country without documentation as early as this month.
Now, the nearly 4 million directly affected individuals will continue to be at risk of deportation while the case remains in the courts until the full appeal trial scheduled for this summer.
Civil rights groups Advancement Project and the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights released a statement in response.
“Now more than ever it is essential that the president take immediate steps to keep families together by halting deportations,” said Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights Executive Director Adelina Nicholls.
“The administration cannot have it both ways on immigration — saying it’s a champion for our community while continuing to raid our homes. The deportation program 287(g) has been ended almost everywhere in the country because of the abuse and profiling it causes, yet remains active in two of Georgia’s counties,” she said.
“The president doesn’t just have unused power, he has unfulfilled promises to complete to make immigration police more humane. He should fight with everything there is in court and complement it by finally ending police-ICE collaboration once and for all.”
“It is unacceptable that millions of immigrant families are forced to remain in a second-class status through delays imposed by the courts,” said Advancement Project Senior Attorney and Director of Immigrant Justice Flavia Jimenez.
“The president exercised his constitutional executive authority to provide relief for these families who are at risk of being wrongly separated,” she said. “Just as Presidents Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, G.H. Bush, and G. W. Bush used their executive powers to address immigration, President Obama is permitted to use his authority to protect the lives and dignity of aspiring Americans.”
“It is unfair and unjust that families remain vulnerable to separation because the courts will not acknowledge the pressing need for their protection. Families should never be pawns of political games.”
“The courts should acknowledge that executive relief is necessary and long overdue for Latino, Asian and Black immigrant families,” continued Jimenez. “The history of our immigration laws is riddled with racial discrimination, with enforcement all too often achieved through racial profiling. In the face of harsh circumstances, immigrant families continue to contribute tremendously to our nation and ask nothing more than legal status.”