About 400 immigration reform advocates were expected to rally in New Orleans on Friday, where judges were slated to debate whether to lift a preliminary injunction against President Barack Obama’s plans to shield some 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation. The injunction, in response to a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Texas and 25 other states, was ordered by a Texas judge a day before undocumented immigrants could have started signing up for the programs in February.
Plans for Friday’s rally outside the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals come after about 100 New Orleans immigrants held a candlelight vigil and protest there Thursday. The lawsuit claims that the executive actions on immigration are unconstitutional.
"It's a lot at stake in this hearing because millions of people are depending on this decision," New Orleans protest organizer Fernando Lopez told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Lopez said he didn’t expect the demonstrations to influence the three-judge panel on the appeals court but that he hoped the protests would raise awareness of what illegal immigrants experience on a day-to-day basis. "It's not only [about] papers, it's not only about becoming documented," he said. "It's about human dignity and justice and recognizing the contributions of the immigrant community."
The appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments Friday, but is not expected issue a ruling by then, the Associated Press and the Times-Picayune reported.
Obama's executive actions, announced in November 2014, included an expansion of the program for young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The other executive action, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, covers parents of children with legal status in the United States. People staying in the U.S. under DACA are protected from deportation for two years and allowed to work.
The other executive action, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, covers parents of children with legal status in the United States.