A year after President Obama came up with a plan to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, the White House has asked the Supreme Court to weigh in.
On Friday, the Obama administration asked the nation’s highest court to review its proposal to give work permits to as many as 5 million immigrants.
The executive orders Obama issued last year have been dragged into a court dispute between 26 mainly Republican-led states.
So far, the courts have blocked Obama’s plan — but with time running out his administration, Obama has moved to get the issue to the Supreme Court by June.
The first part of the president’s executive action, known as DACA, is an expansion of an existing program that defers deportment of children brought to the U.S. illegally.
The second part , known by the acronym DAPA, provides relief from deportation and work authorization to undocumented parents of U.S citizens and permanent residents.
In New York, the executive order could provide relief for up to half a million people — and activists on Friday gathered at City Hall to press for a speedy resolution.
Dozens of immigration advocates gather on the steps of City Hall to mark the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s announcement of executive actions providing immigration relief.
“I qualified for DACA 3 years ago with my sister,” Pamela Chomba, said at the rally.
“My younger brother received his papers a year later and my parents would have qualified for DAPA last year had it not been for the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision,” she added.
She called it unfair that her hardworking parents — whoa came to the U.S. in search of a better life — have to life in fear of deportation.
Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition called it a “critical moment” for immigration reform in the U.S. — especially in light of the controversy over the influx of Syrian refugees in Europe and domestically.
“Our nation needs to return to its values of being a welcoming nation, one that has been made vibrant and strong by waves of newcomers to our shores,” Choi said.