Today’s decision is a terrible blow for thousands of North Carolina families
RALEIGH (June 23, 2016) — Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is a terrible blow for thousands of North Carolina families and for our communities as a whole.
The actions of our governor, and the leaders of twenty-five other states, are extreme, politically-motivated attempts to block progress on commonsense programs that are lawful, constitutional, and consistent with decades of actions taken by presidents of both parties. No legitimate governmental interest and no reasonable societal goal is served by continuing to delay much-needed relief for immigrant families who want to continue and deepen their contributions to our communities and our economy.
Under the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program proposed by President Obama in 2014, parents of U.S. citizens who have been living in the U.S. at least five years and pass security and criminal checks would be allowed a temporary reprieve from deportation and permission to work. These immigrants are, by definition, people who have set down roots and raised families in our community. While today’s outcome is deeply disappointing, it does not impact DACA 2012, which was not at issue in this case.
Today’s decision continues the status quo on a broken and unworkable immigration system that favors partisan politics over family unity and the economic contributions of immigrants who would have benefited from DAPA and an expansion of DACA. Countless studies have shown the harmful effects of family separation due to the deportation of parents, especially on children. President Obama himself today asked whether our nation can accept the cruelty of breaking children away from their parents’ arms. We hope that moving forward the administration employs practices that are consistent with preserving family unity.
It is undeniable that our economy will suffer as workers will be forced to remain in the shadows. While most of them already contribute to our economy as business owners and workers, studies show that allowing immigrants to work lawfully through the DAPA and expanded DACA programs would create jobs and raise our state’s GDP by over $6 billion.
It is time for Congress to step up and do its job. Comprehensive immigration reform has been stalled since 2013, and Congress has failed to provide any solutions for fixing our broken immigration system by ensuring family unity and promoting economic benefits for all residents. President Obama took executive action in 2014 to provide some path to relief for immigrants who have no other method to gain lawful status, and to ensure that millions of children are not separated from their parents.
With this decision acting as yet another obstacle in their path, Congress must act to ensure real relief for immigrant families. Comprehensive immigration reform that lives up to our highest ideals of welcome, fairness, and equality makes sense for our children, our neighbors, and our economy.
Immigration advocates will gather in Downtown Raleigh today at 5:30 p.m. in Nash Square to highlight their commitment to keep fighting for immigrant justice statewide.
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