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Texas Domestic Workers Travel To New Orleans For DACA Hearing

  Domestic workers from Houston and other cities traveled to New Orleans late last week, as the Fifth Circuit Court held a hearing on deportation relief programs. Texas and 25 other states have filed a lawsuit to block the programs. Last year, President Obama announced that Homeland Security would not deport undocumented parents of U.S. […]

 

Domestic workers from Houston and other cities traveled to New Orleans late last week, as the Fifth Circuit Court held a hearing on deportation relief programs. Texas and 25 other states have filed a lawsuit to block the programs.

Last year, President Obama announced that Homeland Security would not deport undocumented parents of U.S. citizens. The president also announced an expansion of a 2012 program for kids who came to the United States as children. But last February, a federal district court in Dallas put Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — or DACA — on hold.

“What’s at stake with the court case is the question of whether parents and children and families are going to be able to stay together — whether women and men who work hard are going to be able to work hard without being afraid of being deported or having their wages stolen,” said Elly Kugler, with the National Domestic Workers Alliance.  

“Many, many of the folks who work in homes who take care of children, who take care of the elderly, who clean houses — often times they’re undocumented. It would mean that they would have the right to stay and work in this country with their families,” said Rockie Gonzalez, with a group of domestic workers in Austin.

The program would protect an estimated five million people from deportation.

Kugler says even before DACA, there were arguments against raids, detentions and deportations.

“Prior to the Obama administration initiating these deferred action programs, you had large groupings of legal scholars — especially immigration law scholars — who said here are the things that the administrative branch specifically has the authority to do, to make decisions about it’s discretion in terms of enforcement of laws.”

The sticking point is that Congress specifies that immigration officers must place certain undocumented immigrants in removal proceedings. ICE agents can’t legally turn a blind eye when they find an immigrant who entered the country illegally.

Anti-amnesty groups argue DACA could become a burden on taxpayers, both financially and in the job market.

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