Immigration Activists To Protest Blocked Exec. Amnesty On Would-Be Program Start Date

Pat Sullivan/Associated Press

Tuesday is the day one of President Obama’s executive amnesty programs would have taken effect, had a federal judge not halted the programs. So activist groups are planning to mark the occasion with protest.

“It is an outrage that hardworking immigrant families are still unable to access these programs because of xenophobic Republicans who are pushing their anti-immigrant agenda – both in Congress and the courts,” Fair Immigration Reform Movement spokesperson Kica Matos said in a statement announcing the group’s participation in the national day of action.

May 19 would have been the day the Obama administration planned to begin accepting applications for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

In February a federal judge halted the implementation of DAPA and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in the wake of a legal challenge to the programs by 26 states lead by the state of Texas. The Obama administration has appealed the injunction.

Immigration activist groups say they plan to stage protests, speaking out against the lawsuit, Republicans and the injunction at events and activities around the country Tuesday.

“May 19th was supposed to be the day that I could apply for DAPA, when my family could finally have the hope of living without fear of being separated,” Ehiracenia Vazquez, a member of the Texas Organizing Project said in a statement. “Gov. [Greg] Abbott and the other politicians need to drop this lawsuit that only aims to tear apart families like mine. Our community is going to fight harder than ever against these politicians who are standing in our way.”

The immigration group Mi Vota Familia is also participating in the events, only with a focus on reminding politicians that the citizen children of illegal immigrants will be able to vote in the 2016 election cycle.

“Our message to the politicians who are trying to destroy our dreams is clear: We are ready to fight for DAPA today and to show our power in 2016,” Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, said Tuesday.