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Boyle Heights sends message to Supreme Court: ‘Uphold Deferred Action!’

By staff |
June 15, 2016
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Building support for DAPA in LA
Building support for DAPA in LA (Fight Back! News/staff)

Los Angeles, CA – On June 11, community members and Centro CSO (Community Service Organization) activists gathered at Boyle Heights Mariachi Plaza, supporting Deferred Action for undocumented immigrants. Demanding the Supreme Court continue the Deferred Action programs, people from the neighborhood came out to make and send their own messages to the Supreme Court.

Before Deferred Action, undocumented youth fought for legalization through support of the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act would have given status for the undocumented under the age of 30 who came to the U.S. before the age of 16 and who had graduated from a U.S. high school.

For years, the fight intensified for legalization, with DREAMers, those who would benefit from the DREAM Act, taking a leading role in the action. With record deportations during the Obama administration, DREAMers shifted attention towards Obama in demanding legal status. Under pressure, President Obama initiated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012. DACA gives temporary legal status for DREAMers, under similar guidelines in the DREAM Act, which protects them from deportations and allows them to work and go to school.

In 2014, Obama initiated Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), which could extend temporary legal status to undocumented parents of U.S. citizens. Twenty-six Republican governors organized a lawsuit against President Obama’s Deferred Action program. These Republicans are attempting to block any legal rights for DREAMers and the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens.

The right wing in the U.S., with their leader Donald Trump, want to deny any rights to immigrants and want to execute mass deportations of all immigrants, especially those from Mexico. The Supreme Court began hearing the case on Deferred Action in April and will decide on whether or not Deferred Action is legal by the end of June. Depending on how the Justices of the Supreme Court vote, Deferred Action could be decided in three ways: the Court could decide in favor of Deferred Action and keep the program as is, the Court could tie - keeping the lower court’s block against DAPA but allowing the Supreme Court to reargue the case, or the Court could decide against Deferred Action and stop the program altogether.

Millions of people around the U.S., especially in the Southwest, stand to benefit from this program. Millions more have their lives in the hands of the black robes in the Supreme Court.

Knowing millions of undocumented parents are at risk of deportation, immigrant rights groups have been fighting for Deferred Action around the country. In the past two months numerous protests have been held outside the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. to support Deferred Action. And in states like Wisconsin, DREAMers have taken to the streets to unite their own neighborhoods to fight for DAPA.

Kat Sanchez with Centro CSO said, “With the Supreme Court’s decision on DAPA inching closer and closer, we got out there today and got a chance to talk to the community and gained much support for our cause. It was great to be able to talk one on one with so many people and even take a couple of group photos! So many strong messages, so many passionate people are fighting for one cause. I support DAPA because I believe that families have no borders!”

Centro CSO called on Boyle Heights to unite at Mariachi Plaza and send their own messages to the Supreme Court. The messages were written on a white board and pictures were taken of each message. Countless families, organizations, tourists, and Boyle Heights neighbors took their very own angry, energetic and supportive pictures. Centro CSO plans to send these pictures to the Supreme Court demanding that they support Deferred Action. Some of the messages included: “Justice for families; unfreeze DAPA!” “The laborers support the migrants!” and “We fight for equality!”

On the fight for Deferred Action and legalization, Sol Marquez of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) and a member of Centro CSO said, “As a Chicana, born into a Mexican and migrant farmworker family, I have traveled from coast to coast with different crop seasons. This opportunity has allowed me to see that the U.S. gives little to zero interest in legalizing undocumented immigrants. The U.S. is scared that workers, once legalized, will rise up and fight for much more than DAPA. We demanded full equality today and DAPA is another step to achieve it.”

Other groups supported the Sunday action, including the Los Angeles Committee of the MORENA Party of Mexico, and MEXA de ELAC (East Los Angeles College).

Centro CSO and others in Boyle Heights have been fighting for Deferred Action and supported a resolution within the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council backing DAPA. The resolution supporting Deferred Action, initiated by council members Maria Ocampo and Carlos Montes, was approved. The people of Boyle Heights support this step towards legalization. Many are waiting attentively on the Court’s decision. The people know the fight continues in the streets to win full equality and legalization for all immigrants.