Amnesty activists are calling a federal court ruling that blocks President Obama’s executive amnesty a temporary setback and are continuing to prepare for the full implementation of the administration’s executive actions.
“Yesterday’s decision is only a delay. We are very confident that both [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] and [Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents] will move forward,” Jane Murguía, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, said Tuesday.
“In the meantime, it is of the utmost importance that those who are eligible continue gathering all necessary materials and prepare to submit their applications as soon as the program starts,” she added.
Monday evening a Texas U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen placed a temporary injunction on Obama’s executive amnesty, ruling in favor of 26 states challenging the administration’s actions.
Tuesday afternoon, DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson said that while the administration disagrees with the ruling, it will comply and “will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned. Until further notice, we will also suspend the plan to accept requests for DAPA.”
Amnesty activists reacted harshly, attacking Hanen as “far-right,” “extremist,” and “out-of-touch,” but argued that they will remain undeterred from their goal of providing legal status to illegal immigrants across the country.
“It’s just a matter of time. Latinos across the country overwhelmingly want Executive Actions to ease deportations, not legal gimmicks,” Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of presente.org, said.
They further called on illegal immigrants to continue to prepare for executive amnesty.
“We urge those who are eligible for DACA or DAPA to keep doing what you are doing to prepare to enroll. Continue to compile the information and documents you will need,” Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Executive Vice President Rocio Saenz said.
Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, added that while the decision might make illegal immigrants concerned, they should still continue to move forward with their expectations for legal status.
“This decision will undoubtedly raise concerns for immigrant communities anxiously awaiting the day they can come out of the shadows. They should continue preparing for implementation by gathering documents that serve as proof of their eligibility, saving money for application expenses, and staying informed,” Hincapié said.
The Dream Action Coalition urged its supporters in a Tweet: “DONT BE ALARMED!” and concluded that ultimately executive amnesty will be enacted.
“Whether in the 5th Circuit, or even if the case makes it all the way to the Supreme Court, we are confident that both the law and precedent are on our side, and that the DHS directives will go in to effect,” the pro-amnesty groups said in a post.
The Obama administration said Tuesday morning it plans to appeal the decision and like other amnesty activists, Democratic lawmakers predicted eventual success.
“How sad for our impacted DREAMers and their families, how necessary it is for an immediate appeal of this ruling. I am confident such an appeal will succeed,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said.
“We believe that, upon swift appeal to the Fifth Circuit, the Court will find the Department of Homeland Security acted within well-established existing constitutional and statutory authority to prioritize enforcement resources, increase border security, and ensure accountability in our broken immigration system.” Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Ranking Member on the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, said in a joint statement.