Appeals Court upholds ruling that keeps immigrants living in fear
“Our employer locked us in a room with very low temperatures, without adequate clothing, we were not allowed to go to the restroom, he made us work almost all day with no breaks, I became ill with allergies because of pesticides, as they didn’t provide us adequate protection. If we complained they threatened us with calling immigration to deport us.”
The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC)
On Tuesday, May 26, in a 2-1 decision that split along party lines, judges of the 5th Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals upheld Texas judge Andrew Hanen’s earlier injunction halting President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration before it got started.
The two measures outlined by the executive order would have provided temporary legal status for up to 5 million undocumented persons: the first, by expanding the deferred action program for undocumented youth (DACA) by allowing an additional number of “dreamers” to apply for a work permit and protection from deportation; the second, known as DAPA, by allowing parents of American citizens or residents to apply for the same protections.
The dissenting decision in Tuesday’s ruling was offered by the sole Democratic appointee on the 5th Circuit panel, Judge Stephen Higginson, who said the executive order, as a way for DHS to prioritize deportations, “is adhering to law, not derogating from it.”
In early July, a different panel of the appeals court will hear arguments on the legal rationale for Hanen’s ruling, and there is always the possibility of this being brought before the Supreme Court. But in the interim, people will continue to suffer very real effects: people will be victimized by the threat of deportation; parents will be separated from their children. People will continue to live in fear 24/7 in our “land of the free and home of the brave.”
The unprecedented deportation rate of the past eight years has had grievous effect not only on those personally served with deportation orders, but on all of us.
Big news sites like TPM and Politico have reverted to calling people “illegal aliens” and “illegal immigrants,” respectively.
And it isn’t just words. In February, when Antonio Zambrano Montes was shot and killed by police in Pasco, Washington, journalist Leon Krauze (Univision’s anchor in L.A., and host of Open Source on Fusion) attributed the paucity of protests and rallies to the pervasive fear of deportation within the seasonal laborer and undocumented populations of even that majority Latino town.
“Would you run the risk of deportation in order to pursue what I think is still an abstract, quote, unquote, benefit?” Krauze said in an interview with NPR’s Jasmine Garsd.
That “abstract benefit” is justice.
And fear is what we should all feel when we’ve told one set of people they don’t have a right to it.
“I take my daughters to school every day and I can’t avoid the fear that in the afternoon I won’t be able to pick them up because of deportation. My daughters were so excited because of the President’s action, and the fact that it’s been blocked again will be really hard on them.”
New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia (NSM)