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Supreme Court Decision to Hear Immigration Case Sparks Celebration

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a case that could protect some 4 million residents from the threat of deportation. (Wikiwopbop/Wikimedia Commons)
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a case that could protect some 4 million residents from the threat of deportation. (Wikiwopbop/Wikimedia Commons)
January 20, 2016

DENVER - A coalition of immigrant-rights groups is taking to the streets today, celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to hear a case that blocked the Obama administration's efforts to shield undocumented families from deportation.

In Denver, street theater was planned for noon today to dramatize what's at stake for families. Arturo Hernandez Garcia, who spent nine months in sanctuary in a church to avoid being separated from his wife and two children, commended the Supreme Court's move.

"It's very important they keep together families," he said. "It's very important for the citizen kids, they continue living a normal life with their parents."

Last year a federal appeals court ruled the Obama administration overstepped its authority and put the brakes on an executive action that would have granted permission to millions of undocumented children and parents to live and work in the United States.

The Supreme Court's ruling on the case is expected this spring. If the court rules that Obama's 2014 executive action can go forward, at least 4 million people could gain protection from deportation. Even if the court sides with the administration, said Jennifer Piper, an organizer for the American Friends Service Committee, more needs to be done. She said some 6 million other residents still would be at risk because they don't have children who are U.S. citizens.

"It's one critical step to keep families together and to give people a small measure of security in their everyday lives," Piper said. "But what we really need is Congress to enact immigration policy that's just and humane that recognizes the human dignity of everyone in our communities."

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who initially challenged the executive order, said in a statement he's confident the high court will agree with three lower court decisions to limit presidential powers.

Details of the case are online at ca5.uscourts.gov.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO