For Immediate Release
SCOTUS Ruling Defers the Dream for Millions of Immigrants
The Immigration Project expresses its regret over today’s Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Texas. The court has, in a 4-4 ruling, deferred the implementation of President Obama’s initiatives of expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans).
“These programs had the ability to positively impact the lives of roughly 4.3 million U.S. citizen children,” explains the Executive Director of the Immigration Project, Jasmine McGee. “Now immigrant families remain in limbo – unauthorized to work legally but unable to leave their children alone in the U.S. Studies show that a U.S. citizen child growing up in a household with an undocumented parent faces increased stress from the fear of having a parent deported. In addition these children live in families with lower incomes, inferior housing, and are less likely to take advantage of community services.”
In November 2014, President Obama proposed programs that would provide the legal right to work and protection from deportation for the parents of U.S. Citizen and lawful permanent resident children. These executive actions expanded the existing DACA from 2012 and created DAPA. Shortly after its introduction, 26 state governors came forward with a lawsuit and delayed the implementation of these programs. Since then, an estimated 5 million immigrants have been hoping for the start of these programs, but today their dreams for financial and emotion security for their families have been deferred.
President Obama’s deferred action had the potential to drastically impact the well being of thousands of families in central and southern Illinois. Reports have show that families with an undocumented parent could see a 10% increase in annual income. Furthermore, according to the Center of American Progress, these two immigration programs could have lead to the creation of 1,850 new jobs in Illinois and an almost $8 billion increase in cumulative income of all state residents over the next decade. Additionally, the American Immigration Council has estimated that with these programs, Illinois stood to receive an additional $347 million in tax revenue over the next five years.
In Illinois, there are an estimated 519,000 residents who are undocumented, with 53,000 living in the service area of the Immigration Project. The majority of the undocumented population eligible for DAPA in Central and Southern Illinois have strong roots, strong family ties, and have been residing for more than ten years in the U.S.
In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, the Immigration Project still encourages all immigrants looking for an immigration remedy to schedule a legal consultation with the agency. The Immigration Project’s four licensed immigration attorneys screen immigrants for other forms of immigration relief. This legal consultation costs only $25.
Additionally, the agency wants to remind the public that the original DACA program from 2012 is still in effect. It provides the legal right to work to residents who were brought to the U.S. while under the age of 16, have resided in the U.S. since 2007, were not over the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, and have pursued a form of higher education.
The Immigration Project is hosting an informational meeting tonight at the Normal Public Library from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Immigrants that are interested in learning about the next steps after the Supreme Court’s decision are encouraged to attend. Free additional parking is available in the parking structure next to the library. For more information about the meeting contact Christine Howe at (309) 829-8703 ext. 105.