CASA Confident On-Going GOP Attacks against Immigrant Families will Ultimately be Thwarted by the Law

Posted February 17, 2015 /

Urges MD and VA to continue to prepare for new immigration programs


(Langley Park, MD) – Late yesterday, a Bush-appointed district court in Brownsville, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the implementation process of the new immigrant deferred action programs. The ruling possibly pushes back the start date for millions of immigrants workers to come forward, register, and apply for work permits, which is planned to begin as soon as February 18, 2015 for Dreamers.

“Regardless of today’s ruling, we are urging the hundreds of thousands of immigrants across our region that qualify to continue to collect their documents and become prepared for the moment when this temporary decision is overturned,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA.  “As Martin Luther King said,‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice’.”

In filing the lawsuit against administrative relief, 26 states ignored the enormous benefit to their own local economies as the plan is implemented.  Maryland, which joined an amicus brief against the lawsuit and supports the legality of the program, is expected to experience a $114 million increase in tax revenues over 5 years.  Virginia, which remained silent on the lawsuit, is expected to experience a $106 million increase over a similar period.

“This is just the first round. Hundreds of legal scholars agree that the President’s executive action on immigration is constitutional and within his authority; a similar lawsuit against the original DACA program was thrown out in 2012. We are confident that the court system will eventually reject this meritless lawsuit, but in the meantime waiting has a real impact on immigrant families that qualify for the relief,” George Escobar, CASA’s Director of Health and Human Services.

One of the many real people affected by today’s decision is Catia Paz, a 30 year old citizen of El Salvador, who arrived in the US in April 2002 at the age of 17.  She was the last of a large extended family whose members all came to the U.S. fleeing from a war that devastated their country.  During her 13 years in the US, Catia graduated from high school, worked for the same employer for over eight years, paid taxes religiously and became a homeowner.  She and her family have been devoted members of Familia de la Fe Church in Alexandria, Virginia for 12 years. Her husband, German Reyes, has TPS and together they have two US citizen daughters – Genesis Reyes, now six, and three year old Alison.  Today, of her 65 close relatives in the US, 30 are U.S. citizens, 20 are legal permanent residents and 15 have temporary protected status. No one from her family remains in El Salvador.

In early April of 2014 Catia’s received a one year Stay of Deportation.  Without the immigration relief program, Catia could be deported at the end of that year.

CASA urges the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to take up this case immediately to address the millions of real people living in limbo.  The decision comes just a week after CASA, together with other organizations, protested Republican offices in Congress.  CASA and its members recommit to ongoing struggle against the politicians – overwhelmingly Republican – that treat Catia and her family and the many families like hers as political punching balls.