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SCOTUS to Hear Immigration Case, Asian-American Leaders Respond

Asian-American leaders praised the Supreme Court's announcement that it will hear the case that halted immigration reform programs.
Image: Dream Riders holding signs.
A group of "dreamers" embarked on a multi-city bus tour, summer 2015. Organized by the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), the Korean Resource Center (KRC), and several other groups, the 12-day bus tour hopes to engage Asian American and Pacific Islanders and other immigrant communities in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.Courtesy NAKASEC

The Supreme Court announced Tuesday morning that it would hear United States v. Texas, the case that effectively halted President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The hearing, which will likely be heard in April and decided in June, will decide the fate of the president’s deferred action programs before the end of his term.

The president unveiled his dual immigration reform program in November 2014. The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program seeks to provide deportation relief to undocumented immigrant parents and allow them temporary work permits. In the same order, he also expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which he enacted in 2012 and works along the same lines for undocumented students who came to the United States as children.

RELATED: Asian-American Groups Urge SCOTUS to End Injunction Against Obama's Immigration Actions

The programs, which would have protected some 5 million individuals from the threat of deportation, were put on hold in February 2015, after Texas and 25 other states collectively filed a suit against the president.

More than 200 civil rights, immigration, and social rights organizations filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to grant a hearing to the case, including the National Council of Asian and Pacific Americans (NCAPA), which would affect nearly half a million Asian Americans.

"These policies would help families who have lived in their communities and contributed to our nation for many years."

Asian-American leaders responded Tuesday to the Supreme Court's decision to grant the hearing, praising the news.

“We are encouraged by the Supreme Court’s decision to review the executive immigration action, as our communities have long been waiting for relief,” NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang said in a statement. “These policies would help families who have lived in their communities and contributed to our nation for many years, by allowing them to lawfully work and continue to provide care for their children without fear of separation."

RELATED: 'Eye of the Storm': Undocumented Dreamers Head to Battleground States

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, tweeted, "This is fantastic news for families who should not have to fear being separated!" She added in a following tweet that the two programs "are right, legally, morally, economically."

In a statement from Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, president and executive director Mee Moua, said, “We are extremely pleased the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear this important case. The Fifth Circuit decision to block President Obama’s executive actions not only denies deportation relief, but also denies many the ability to apply for work authorizations, obtain driver’s licenses, obtain health care, open a bank account and receive in-state college tuition. We urge the U.S. Supreme Court to think of the many families who will be impacted by their decision.”

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