The Supreme Court kicked off this week by listening to oral arguments for United States v. Texas – the case that will decide whether millions of undocumented immigrants will receive protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). President Barack Obama’s executive action allowed families to stay together and provided real chances for people to contribute to the economy. However, 26 states sued, asserting Obama overstepped his bounds with DACA and DAPA. (Check out Center for American Progress’s video below for an excellent and succinct explanation of what the country stands to lose if Texas wins.)
The case is so important that instead of giving it the usual 60 minutes, the SCOTUS listened to arguments for 90 minutes, according to Vox. And across 20 cities in the United States, immigration activists rallied to ask the Supreme Court to back Obama’s effort to protect more than 4 million undocumented parents, BuzzFeed reports.
Though it’s still not clear what way the court will vote, early information indicates the justices are split. The New York Times reports that Sonia Sotomayor defended undocumented immigrants, who live “in the shadows.” “They’re here whether we want them or not,” she said. Anthony M. Kennedy said Obama’s DACA and DAPA fell under a legislative task and not an executive task. “It’s as if the president is defining the policy and the Congress is executing it,” Kennedy said. “That’s just upside down.”
A 4-4 decision became a real possibility after Antonin Scalia’s February death, but it didn’t stop activists from fighting for immigrants. La Santa Cecilia, for example, performed in front of the Supreme Court building. “It hits close to home,” said Jose “Pepe” Carlos. “I was undocumented for 25 years, and it’s really unjust and unfair that we’re not given the credit we deserve as latinoamericano immigrants. Hopefully it goes through because it’s not just my parents but a whole generation of parents who are going to benefit.”
Here’s how today’s rallies went down:
Sophie Cruz fought for her parents
La Santa Cecilia performed in front of the Supreme Court building
Jose Antonio Vargas: "I Am an American"
Even pups are on Obama's side
Dolores Huerta fights for Sophie
"Keep Families Together"
No more deportations
And no more fear
Texas fights, too