In The End We Will Win: Virginia Continues to Push Forward Despite the Lengthy Legal Process on DACA Expansion & DAPA Lawsuit

In The End We Will Win: Virginia Continues to Push Forward Despite the Lengthy Legal Process on DACA Expansion & DAPA Lawsuit
NAKASEC, VACOLAO, Dreamers Moms USA, and Virginia Latina Advocacy Network urge the immigrant community to continue to protect DACA and DAPA by continuing to prepare for enrollment and apply for DACA if eligible.

April 17, 2015

Annandale, Virginia— Today, the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) hosted a press conference with Edgar Aranda-Yanoc, Chair of the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO); Lenka Mendoza, Founder and National Coordinator of Dreamers Moms USA; and Margie Del Castillo, Field Coordinator at Virginia Latina Advocacy Network, to reassure the immigrant community in Virginia and nationwide that Friday’s hearing is yet another step in what is a long court battle, but in the end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) will be here to stay and implemented.
Attorney General Mark R. Herring shared the following statement: “The issue in this case is whether these reasonable reforms will, in the face of prolonged and inexcusable congressional action, benefit or harm the states. Immigration has been a source of economic, cultural, and social benefit for the Commonwealth for more than 400 years and Virginia has told the court that these lawful reforms would continue that tradition. These reforms will deliver public safety benefits by building trust between law enforcement and their communities, economic benefits by allowing previously undocumented immigrants to pursue better educational and employment opportunities, and humanitarian benefits by keeping families intact. They should be allowed to move forward. I thank NAKASEC, VACOLO, and other tireless advocates for their continued work on behalf of new Americans in this case and in countless other ways.”
Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon, executive director of NAKASEC said: “The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals should follow the law and allow expanded DACA and DAPA to go into effect now. 92,000 individuals in Virginia could benefit from DACA and DAPA, many of whom are Korean American or Asian American. And these programs are predicted to significantly help the economy by generating $221.1 million new tax revenue in Virginia alone. Ultimately, we need to continue to protect these immigration actions we fought so hard to achieve, both in the courts and in our communities. We will win because keeping families together is a value our community will not forgo or compromise. Let’s raise our immigrant voice by signing onto the community petition letter for DACA/DAPA, continuing to apply for DACA 1, and preparing in advance to apply for expanded DACA and DAPA so when the programs are implemented, we are ready to enroll and start benefiting.”

Edgar Aranda, Chair of the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO) urged the 5th Circuit to recognize the broad authority on immigration granted to the Executive Branch by congress, authority that has been reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court most recently in 2012 when the Court struck down on similar grounds most of SB1070, a harsh anti-immigration law passed in Arizona. “The 5th Circuit should recognize the Obama administration’s authority in this matter and overturn Judge Hanen’s injunction. This would allow thousands of immigrants to come out of the shadows and live and work in the Commonwealth without the fear of separation from their families including U.S. citizen children.” Mr. Aranda also urged potential beneficiaries of the DAPA and DACA extended programs to begin preparing their documents for the program application process. “We are optimistic that these programs will move forward despite this costly and unnecessarily delay to our community. We must not give up hope for a better future for our families and be ready when the time comes.”

Current Situation:
On Friday, April 17, two hours of oral arguments, on the emergency motion (“stay”) asking the court to allow the expanded DACA and DAPA programs to go into effect while the litigation over the validity of the injunction continues, will be heard by a three panel of judge in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The pro-immigrant argument is that legal basis for these policies is strong and well-established and the precedent for these policies extends back 60 years. The preliminary injunction is a political dispute over policy disguised as a legal challenge, meritless from the beginning. The Fifth Circuit has already noted that a case needs to consider both costs and benefits. District Court Judge Hanen of Brownsville, Texas only looked at the fiscal costs and refused to take into account the tax revenue benefits, specifically regarding Texas’ drivers’ licenses. The best case scenario for April 17th is the panel could reach a ruling that Texas did not have standing and/or send the case back to have it dismissed.
On a separate track, the federal government has also appealed the preliminary injunction itself, but this hearing has not yet been scheduled. There is broad support from the Department of Justice; legal scholars and public officials; and immigrant, labor, and faith organizations for the appeal of the preliminary injunction.
To sign on to the community petition letter, please click here or visit the NAKASEC website and click ‘Take Action to Support DACA + DAPA’.
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