WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 27, 2015) – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is disappointed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that continues the denial of relief for immigrant communities by blocking the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program.
In February, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas ruled in favor of stopping the expansion of the DACA and DAPA programs. Following this ruling, the Administration requested an expedited appeal of a stay on the ruling which was denied yesterday by the Fifth Circuit Court, meaning that the ruling stands and that the expansion of both programs are currently on standby.
“This ruling comes as a huge disappointment to us, as it leaves over 400,000 Asian Pacific Islander undocumented individuals in fear of deportation”, said Ken Lee, OCA’s Chief Executive Officer. “It is inhumane to force families to suffer living under the threat of being ripped apart through the deportation of family members. This denial of a stay on Judge Hanen’s ruling will cause considerable anguish for many families who were hopeful that DACA and DAPA would provide a fair and just means of legitimately remaining in the Country they know and love while eliminating the threat of deportation.”
“Our nation was founded on principles which valued protection of the weakest and most vulnerable in our society. Our courts are the ‘great levelers’ in which all are given justice. The people, the human beings, most effected by the decision are entitled to simple dignity and respect. By ignoring the human consequences of their decision while clinging to an extraordinarily narrow interpretation of the law, the Court failed in its fundamental duty to protect those with no political clout, little material wealth and who are least able to defend their interest from those who are among the most powerful and most influential in our society”, continued Lee. “The foundation of the DACA and DAPA programs is prosecutorial discretion, a time tested concept that is well defined in law and for which there is strong legal authority. This discretion contributes to ensuring that justice is achieved given the facts and circumstances of each specific case.
Lee concluded, “This unjust ruling is a temporary legal setback and we are confident that it will ultimately be overturned. In the meantime, we encourage those affected by this decision to maintain hope. We continue to encourage individuals eligible for relief under DACA or DAPA to continue preparing their paperwork. Rest assured this ruling does not affect the original DACA program and we encourage all eligible individuals to continue applying.”
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).