Families rally ahead of Supreme Court immigration hearing Monday

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Dozens of families gathered inside Hope Academy of West Michigan Sunday afternoon, preparing for the 12 hour journey to Washington D.C. where they're headed to show support for an executive order on immigration being challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2014, President Obama's executive action created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DAPA would provide families with U.S. born children protection from being deported, while DACA would allow undocumented immigrants an opportunity to obtain American citizenship.

The executive actions announced by President Obama were intended to crack down on illegal immigration at our nation's border. The immigrants who would benefit from the administration’s plan are mainly the parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

"This is something that I feel strongly about," said Erica Soto, as she waited to board a bus to Washington D.C. "Not just as a Latina, but as a human being who believes in family and the unity of family. That is all we want, for these families to have their families together and united."

The case to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday morning is known as United States v. Texas. Texas is one of 25 states which attempted to block Obama's executive action. Included in the list is Michigan's Attorney General Bill Schuette who is also challenging Obama's executive action.

"This is a nation of immigrants. We've come here to build on America and continue the values of an American. That's why this is the land of the free and the American dream," said Gema Lowe from the Workers Center of West Michigan.

Three buses from Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Detroit will join hundreds of thousands of supporters in Washington D.C. Michigan United, a non-profit fighting for the dignity and potential of every person, helped sponsor the trip for the immigration reform activists.

"If they (immigrants) are citizens who are here that are working hard, who want to provide for their families, and live lives as outstanding citizens, then I don’t think its anybody’s right to take that way from them," Soto said.

For 16-year-old Miguel Zavala-Silva, a Grand Rapids high schooler, the harsh reality of deportation is all too real for his father.

"It's going to be really hard for us because he’s my dad," said Zavala-Silva. "He helps us out, he’s my role model, of course I have to support him. If he leaves, we have to go to Mexico too."

"Were not here to ruffle feathers, were just there to open the country’s eyes and the governments eyes to the fact that there are real families that need to be together here no matter what," Soto said.

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February could complicate an already politically decisive case. A tie vote in the high court would leave the appeals court ruling in place, essentially throwing out Obama's executive again.

A decision is expected by June.

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  • Andrew

    Allowing undocumented immigrants (illegal aliens) the opportunity to obtain citizenship is the antithesis of the intention of even having immigration laws. It is the denegration of what it means to be a law-abiding American citizen, and therefore fosters further disregard of all laws by the people in this country both legally and illegally.

    Illegal acts should be punished, not rewarded, otherwise there is no point to having laws at all.

  • Presto Manifesto

    “This is a nation of immigrants. We’ve come here to build on America and continue the values of an American. That’s why this is the land of the free and the American dream,” said Gema Lowe from the Workers Center of West Michigan.

    And this is the lie that is being held up as a defense. This is NOT a nation of immigrants, it is a nation of LEGAL immigrants. A nation of people who came here because they had RESPECT FOR THE LAWS that exist here, not because they were looking for free housing, food, and education. Those things are not free here, they are paid for by law-abiding citizens, and should therefore only be available to law-abiding citizens who are in need, not to law-breaking invaders who are merely in want. This is also a country of legal immigrants who had an understanding that those laws entitled them to an OPPORTUNITY at a good life, not a GUARANTEE…that nothing, NOTHING, was going to be handed to them. This is a nation of legal immigrants who sacrificed living together as a family for decades just for the PRIVILEDGE of being here. NO ONE has a RIGHT to come to America. It is a priviledge, and one which has to be earned, mainly by showing that you are willing and able to both respect and obey the law. That is why the US Code (prior to Comrade Obama unilaterally striking it down illegally) mandated that anyone coming to this country illegally should be immediately deported and barred forever from being considered for citizenship.

    Do our immigration laws need to be overhauled? Absolutely. But that is no reason to simply swing open the doors to anyone who can walk across the border. Doing that is to deliberately put our country and its citizens in imminent danger by providing access and opportunity to terrorists. That is legally speaking aiding and abetting, and is therefore an act of treason by the president. For the Justice Department to not prosecute him is itself an act of aiding and abetting, meaning that two of the three branches of our federal government are guilty of treasonous behavior, and are therefore constitutionally illegitimate. The third branch, Congress, is the branch that is supposed to address these issues, but it is itself so dysfunctional that it can’t even pass a budget.

    I don’t think most people realize just how close this country is to collapse. The upcoming election proceedings have illustrated that much of the population has no faith in the current political establishment. If those voices are ignored, they will be vindicated in that lack of faith, and the anti-establishment sentiment will grow stronger and larger. We are heading for a second revolution in this country. This government will be removed, one way or another, because the people of America will not tolerate being criminally abused this way. Whether it happens peacefully or not remains to be seen, but it will happen either way. There is simply no way to avoid it anymore. But keep in mind that the longer it takes to happen, the more likely it becomes that it will be violent, because that is the nature of human temperment. People are already stockpiling weapons and ammunition. Nobody is trying to hide or deny that. But do they recognize what that means? It means this government’s days are numbered! It means that in the eyes of the people, the corruption is too widespread and too deep to be allowed to continue. That we will fight if necessary to be rid of it, and to continue on, most likely as independent states. If we can not rely on Congress to defend the people against a corrupt executive and judicial branch, the only recourse left to the people is a militia. This is where we are as a nation…we are having this discussion. People are actively preparing for the worst in ever increasing numbers…numbers which are starting to worry the corrupt usurpers. Will the voice of the people be heard and ignored? I hope not. Will the political establishment continue to put their own agendas ahead of the agenda of the people? I hope not. Will Congress continue to let petty bickering and love of money/power keep them from defending the people from the corruption rampant in the executive and judicial branches? I hope not. Because history will remember them all as traitors if that happens. The destroyers of America currently sit in charge of it.