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NY Immigrants Denounce Supreme Court Decision

Elected officials, immigrants and advocates gathered at New York City Hall to denounce the Supreme Court's 4-to-4 ruling. (NYIC)
Elected officials, immigrants and advocates gathered at New York City Hall to denounce the Supreme Court's 4-to-4 ruling. (NYIC)
June 24, 2016

NEW YORK – New York City's immigrant community gathered at City Hall on Thursday afternoon to denounce the U.S. Supreme Court's new ruling on immigration policy.

The 4-to-4 tie vote allows an appeals court decision to stand, blocking President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.

The president's Deferred Action plan offered temporary protection to families with mixed immigration status and immigrants who arrived as children.

Thanu Yakupitiyage, senior communications manager at the New York Immigration Coalition, says the decision affects about a 250,000 immigrants in New York.

"People in our communities are feeling really upset, really saddened,” she says. “This really impacts a lot of people, a lot of mixed-status families, a lot of U.S.-citizen children who want their parents to be able to stay with them."

A federal court of appeals ruled that the president's actions exceeded his legal authority.

But Yakupitiyage notes that the executive actions were modeled on a program that was already in place.

"After seeing the success of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program for two years, it's just unconscionable that anti-immigrant forces blocked it," she states.

The tie ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court doesn't set a legal precedent, but it effectively prevents any executive action to protect millions from deportation for the remainder of the president's term in office.

And Yakupitiyage points out that Obama only took that step after years of inaction by Congress.

"What we've known along is that we need a shift in immigration policy,” she stresses. “We need comprehensive immigration reform that is just, and that is what we're going to continue to push for."

The New York Immigration Coalition has vowed to continue working with all levels of government to keep families together and end deportations.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY