Washington: South Asian groups in the US have expressed disappointment over a Supreme Court decision blocking two immigration reform programmes of Obama administration which was benefitting thousands of illegal migrants from the community including those from India.
The Supreme Court's failure to reach a consensus will leave millions of undocumented individuals, including several hundred thousand South Asians, bereft of any immigration options and will ensure that they continue to operate as a part of our shadow economy, South Asian Association of North America (SAAB North America) said yesterday.
"As an organisation committed to the South Asian community, we are intensely frustrated that the Supreme Court refused to validate these Executive Actions which would have served to legitimise thousands of individuals who are now forced to remain on the margins of society and, unlike millions of those before them, are denied the American dream," said SABA North America president Vichal Kumar.
"Today's ruling is a catalyst for the next Congress to act and ensure that all immigrants have a path to the full benefits of citizenship and allow us to live up to our core values of fairness and opportunity," said Suman Raghunathan, executive director of the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).
"This is a disappointing outcome that leaves over 4 million people uncertain about their future and keeps them in the shadows. The President's approach was sensible and consistent with prior executive actions.
This unsatisfying outcome underscores the importance and the urgent necessity for Congress to take up immigration reform," said Immigration co-Chairs Kalpana Peddibhotla and Tejas Shah.
SAALT expressed its profound disappointment that Supreme Court 4-4 split in US v. Texas failed to reach a decision on the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs, part of the President's executive action on immigration issued in November 2014.
The original DACA program announced in 2012 remains, and the Supreme Court ruling upheld a lower court ruling blocking the DAPA and expanded DACA programs.
"As a result of today's ruling, millions of immigrants, including 450,000 undocumented Indian Americans alone, cannot contribute to the economy and pursue their dreams. The only real solution is legislative change through Comprehensive Immigration Reform," SAALT said.
Nearly 225,000 Indian and Pakistani individuals are eligible for DACA and DAPA. India ranks among the top 10 origin countries with individuals eligible for DACA, and ranks third among individuals eligible for DAPA. At least 23,000 Indian and Pakistani youth are eligible for DACA and expanded DACA. At least 200,000 Indian and Pakistani individuals are eligible for DAPA.