By Suzanne Potter, California News Service
June 24, 2016 (Washington D.C.) --Latino rights supporters are regrouping after the Supreme Court split 4-4 on the constitutionality of President Obama's immigration policy.
The tie lets a lower court decision stand, blocking two of the president's executive orders. One program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), would have given temporary work permits to parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents. The other is an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gave a reprieve to certain people brought to the U.S. as children.
"This is really sad for the immigrant community," said Antonio Bernabe, organizing director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. "They are really disappointed, hoping for a real solution. Now they are still fearing for their families, fearing for themselves, living in terror every day."
Bernabe said his community will fight on, including organizing to elect candidates at every level of government who support immigration reform, something Congress has failed to pass for years.
Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, argued the case before the Supreme Court in April. The case is still alive, he said, and has two paths back to the high court.
"This is only a preliminary injunction. So, it has to go back to the District Court, and he has to reach a final decision," Saenz said. "That final decision could then end up back before the Supreme Court. In addition, right now there could be a petition for rehearing by a full court."
The next U.S. president will fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court and determine the new majority. This decision all but guarantees the prediction that Latino voters will turn out in record numbers this November.
The Supreme Court's decision is online at scotusblog.com.