A Prayer For Justice

The Supreme Court and Administrative Relief 

From Melissa Bowe, Program and Advocacy Manager for National Justice for Our Neighbors:

A young advocate at the vigil.
A young advocate at the vigil.

I was excited to join about 100 people in front of the Supreme Court on Friday, December 11th, to participate in a vigil and raise awareness about the need to release President Obama’s Administrative Relief. There was a “Prayer for Justice” and news conference, led by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and CASA de Maryland.

Also featured at the vigil were several children, each of them facing the holidays not knowing whether their mom or dad will be with them much longer. The threat of deportation is a constant in their lives.

The Prayer for Justice kicks off the “Give the Gift of Family” social media campaign to highlight the importance of the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the case regarding President Obama’s executive order to expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and implement Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA.)

This event is the first of a series of monthly prayer vigils, organized by various groups throughout the immigrant rights movement. It serves as a reminder not only to the Supreme Court justices, but to all lawmakers to see that anti-immigrant policies have real effects on millions of families who have sacrificed so much to make better lives for themselves in their beloved adopted country of America.

 Melissa
Melissa joined other immigration advocates in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Melissa joined other immigration advocates in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Update on President Obama’s Immigration Executive Action: 

On November 9, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas judge’s ruling to delay President Obama’s expansion of immigration deferred action. The Obama administration has since announced it will seek intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court.

3 things to know about Immigration Executive Action following the Fifth Circuit ruling:

  1. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is still available for those who are eligible under the original requirements announced in 2012.
  2. The expansion of DACA and the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs the Obama administration announced in 2014 remain on hold, but NJFON encourages individuals to continue to gather documents, save money and schedule a legal consultation at our clinics to determine whether they may be eligible for other more permanent forms of relief.
  3. The latest Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “enforcement priorities” guidelines, which the president announced in November 2014 and went into effect in January 2015, are not affected by the Fifth Circuit ruling. Under these enforcement priorities, individuals who would be eligible for DAPA should not be placed in deportation proceedings. DAPA-eligible individuals who are placed in deportation proceedings are eligible for administrative closure as well.