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Immigrant Rights Activists Confident Injunction On Obama Action Will Be Overturned

Voces De La Frontera Director Says There's Broad Public Support For President's Plan


Immigrant rights advocates in Wisconsin say Monday’s federal court ruling blocking President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration is only a minor setback for the more than 30,000 immigrants in the state who could benefit from the changes.

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, director of Voces de la Frontera, said the ruling will cause only a temporary delay in implementing a program that will prevent the deportation of undocumented immigrants if they have children who are U.S. citizens.

“You’re talking about so many parents who have been here easily over 10, 15 years who will benefit and who will not have to live with that fear of being separated from their children. This is a good thing in so many ways,” she said.

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Neumann-Ortiz said the Texas ruling is out of step with what she believes is broad public support for Obama’s reforms, and she expects it to be overturned on appeal.

The injunction was made as Wisconsin and 26 other states are legally challenging Obama’s plan, which the litigants say forces states to spend thousands of dollars to provide immigrants with an array of social welfare benefits.

An email from the Wisconsin attorney general’s office cites language in the Texas ruling that refers to more than $500,000 that the state has already paid in unemployment benefits to immigrants who would qualify for protection from deportation.

Attorney General Brad Schimel said Wisconsin’s legal argument against Obama’s immigration action is based on a belief that Congress, and not the president, should be enacting immigration policies. Schimel said Obama has exceeded his constitutional authority by acting on his own.

Supporters of the plan, like Neumann-Ortiz, said this week’s ruling was not a surprise, since the judge who wrote it has history of ruling against immigration reforms and is in favor of deporting any and all undocumented immigrants.