Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and other local officials said they were disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court deadlock on immigration.
Civil-rights activists and elected officials in Seattle expressed disappointment Thursday in the Supreme Court deadlock that halts President Obama’s immigration plan to safeguard millions from deportation.
OneAmerica, an immigrant-advocacy group, organized an event at the U.S. District Court in Seattle that brought out speakers such as Mayor Ed Murray, City Councilmember M. Lorena González and Executive Director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project Jorge Barón.
Murray said immigrant families shouldn’t have to live in fear.
“Seattle stands with our brothers and sisters in this long fight for justice for immigrant families,” he said. “And I firmly believe despite the terrible decision today, that it is a setback and we will eventually win — that justice will prevail.”
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“We are a place that will continue to welcome immigrants and refugees, we will continue to make sure that this is a place that you can call home,” González said.
The court’s 4-4 tie, announced Thursday, is the latest reminder of the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February, and the refusal of the GOP-led Senate to grant a hearing to the president’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
The decision is not likely to lead to an increase in deportations since the president retains ample discretion to decide whom to deport. But the ruling effectively ends the president’s effort to bring people “out from the shadows” by giving them the right to work legally in the U.S.
Obama’s executive order would have offered protections for parents of children who are in the country legally and an expansion of the program that benefits people who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children. Announced in November 2014, the order had potential to help up to 4 million people.
In Washington state, the president’s actions would have allowed 105,000 to move into the“legal workforce,” according to a statement from Attorney General Bob Ferguson. A Democrat, Ferguson referred to the vote as a “missed opportunity.”
Daniela Murguia, 20, who just finished her sophomore year at Edmonds Community College, was born in Mexico and brought to the United States illegally by her parents. She said she was heartbroken at the court’s deadlock.
“It’s just a mix of emotions that many people have the privilege of not going through,” she said. “So that’s something that I’ve been having to live with day-in, day-out since I got here.”