NWA Latinos React to SCOTUS Immigration Ruling
By Samantha Jones | email@example.com
Published 06/23 2016 10:10PM
Thursday’s Supreme Court decision on President Obama’s executive action on immigration directly affects nearly 40,000 Arkansans, and has sparked a call to action in Latino communities across the Natural State.
Javier Gamboa was born in California. His family moved to Arkansas about ten years ago for better opportunities.
He said some of his family members are living in the United Sates undocumented, and the fear of their being ripped away is still a plausible reality.
“I know a lot of people that might be undocumented and just seeing them go out of nowhere out of mid air is going to be life changing,” Gamboa shared.
Mireya Reith, Executive Founding Director of Arkansas United Community Coalition, said Thursday’s split vote (4-4) Supreme Court ruling that stalled President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration, is a setback for nearly 40,000 Arkansas families, and leaves many hiding in the shadows of their American dream.
“Afraid due to a routine traffic stop, or being confused in identity with somebody else. That they are going to get picked up and they will not be able to return to their loved ones here,” Reith said.
A fear Jacqueline Perez understands. She was born in the United States, but her parents immigrated here from Mexico. She tells us her dad recently went through the difficult process to gain his citizenship.
“Every morning on the trip to school, he would be listening to the tape, playing the questions. And you know, he’d be like, okay Jackie, don’t tell me what the answer is, I can do this I can do this. Pause the tape, and we are going to figure this out,” Perez shared.
She knows that’s something not every family has the privilege to accomplish and she said that makes the SCOTUS ruling even more frustrating.
“I just don’t understand how people can go through so many testimonies. And see how this decision could affect lives, and although I’m devastated I know that we can continue to move forward,” Perez said.
“Calling upon all of our presidential candidates, our political parties, candidates at all levels to pick up immigration reform again,” Reith said.
And Reith said families searching for answers and needing clarification on Thursday’s decision are encouraged to come by the Immigration Services Center in Springdale on Saturday at noon. She tells us attorneys will be present, as well as other immigration experts to help explain the result of the ruling.
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