Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Comentarios from Maria: Our Community Will Not Forget


Last week, one of the most conservative federal appeals courts in the country decided to uphold the suspension of President Obama’s executive orders on immigration that would have brought relief to millions of undocumented immigrants, through the expansion of DACA and the introduction of the DAPA programs.

As you might recall, in February a group of Republicans deliberately and insidiously designed a plan that coopted our judicial system to satisfy their vengeful and defiant agenda against the president’s immigration measures. Sadly, this type of Republican antagonism is not surprising; it really only reminds us that Republicans will continue using whatever method necessary to stoke fear and uncertainty within our communities.

The court’s decision offers us a clear example of the harsh and spiteful position that the GOP has adopted toward immigrants. It’s a position that is clearly founded in fear and intimidation and provides no opportunity for a conciliatory dialogue or approach. This latest step taken by the GOP reaffirms that they have no interest in repairing the severely deteriorated relationship between our community and their party, which will have repercussions in 2016 and beyond.

In theory, a judge is an authority that must be an impartial representative of justice, but unfortunately, Republicans behind this plan succeeded in that some of the designated judges for this case became critical pieces of their political game. Upon reading the legal opinion of the two judges who dissented against the executive orders, we quickly realize that their decision was completely biased and politically motivated. In fact, it is almost surprising how little was done to hide that this decision had nothing to do with the legality of the president’s actions and much more to do with a Republican ideology bent on destroying the executive measures.

Fortunately, there was a judge on the panel who was capable of showing impartiality, noting that the opinions of the other judges blatantly unbalanced the scales in favor of far-right Republicans. In his legal opinion, Judge Higginson correctly focused on the legality of the measures and reminded his colleagues that the prosecutorial discretion that the president has to implement deferred action programs is based on centuries of legal precedent.

Understandably, this decision will probably provoke a good deal of uncertainty and fear within the communities vulnerable to these measures, but I urge you not to give up, not to despair and not to lose hope. We mustn’t forget that in any struggle there are highs and lows, and we have a president who will fight tooth and nail to rectify this decision. During the next few months, the Obama administration will work hard to design a strategy that puts the implementation of this necessary immigration relief back on track.

We are not alone and we can be sure that the president, the Democrats and their allies will not abandon us, because they understand what is at risk: the stability and the fiscal and economic security of our families and our country. I believe in the unity of our community, which is capable of changing this course, and I can assure you that when it is time to visit the ballot box in 2016, we won’t forget this injustice instigated by Republicans.

This piece originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic.