ICIRR Blasts Judge's Block on Immigration Relief

February 17, 2015

ICIRR Blasts Judge's Block on Immigration Relief

Late last night (February 16) federal trial judge Andrew Hanen ordered a temporary halt to the Obama Administration's new immigration relief programs: the new Deferred Action for Parental Responsibility (DAPA) program and the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the latter of which had been scheduled to launch tomorrow (February 18). The following is the statement of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:

Thousands of Illinois immigrants who grew up in this country were looking forward to tomorrow and the weeks to come to finally apply for the expanded DACA program. They had seen what getting approved for DACA had done for their younger siblings, neighbors, and friends, and they eagerly anticipated also getting protection from deportation, being able to work and support themselves and their families, and moving forward with their lives. Instead a single judge hand-picked by opponents of immigrants and of this Administration has temporarily blocked the path forward for these immigrants and millions more who could similarly benefit from DAPA this spring.

We know that this order is temporary, and we urge the Administration to follow through on its intentions to appeal this judge's ruling immediately to the circuit court, where a wiser reading of the law should prevail. That higher court should recognize that administrative relief is well within the President’s and the Executive Branch’s authority to decide whom it should prioritize for enforcement using its limited resources.  The appeals court should furthermore see that, rather than burdening states, administrative relief will in fact benefit them and the entire country by giving millions of immigrant families security, allowing them to work legally, earn more, pay more in taxes (including $347 million in additional tax revenue in Illinois alone), and become even more productive contributors to our economy and society.

In the meantime, the work of ICIRR and our allies within the Illinois is Ready campaign continues: Our families and communities must still get prepared for administrative relief, including staying informed, gathering documents, and finding reputable lawyers and community organizations who can help review their cases and complete their applications. We say to our communities: do not be confused or deterred by this one judge, but instead keep moving forward, keep getting ready, and keep pushing for a more permanent fix that will bring us toward full citizenship and benefit our entire nation.

For more information on administration relief, please visit www.ilisready.org or call our Family Support Hotline, 855-HELP-MY-FAMILY.

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. For more information, visit www.icirr.org.