Statement of Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center
CHICAGO, IL — Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is outraged by today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling blocking President Obama’s 2014 immigration deferred action programs.
The 4-4 ruling left intact a nationwide injunction on the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and the expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+) programs, which promised temporary relief from the fear of deportation for four million immigrants and families already rooted in American society, raising families, running businesses and contributing to our communities and economy.
As a result of today’s split decision, DAPA and DACA+ will continue to be stalled by anti-immigrant obstructionist governors and the overreach of a single district court judge in Texas. Instead of providing clarity and guidance, the Court will force millions of families to remain in limbo as Congress fails to address the severe inadequacies of the U.S. immigration system. With today’s loss, NIJC redoubles its advocacy for inclusive, permanent immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants living, working and raising families in the United States without access to lawful status.
In the upcoming days, NIJC and its partners will coordinate a series of information sessions to provide communities information about the impact of the ruling. We encourage individuals to better understand their legal rights by consulting with licensed immigration attorneys or legal aid organizations recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals. While today’s outcome is deeply disappointing, it does not impact DACA 2012. Importantly, more than 14 percent of individuals eligible for DACA 2012 have found they also qualify for other, more permanent forms of relief. NIJC anticipates a similar pattern among the population who could have benefited from DACA+ and DAPA, but those alternate forms of relief might only be identified by an experienced legal practitioner.
Individuals in Illinois and Indiana may schedule legal consultations with NIJC by calling (312) 660-1370 or emailing
With offices in Chicago, Indiana, and Washington, D.C., Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation and public education. Visit immigrantjustice.org.