Dozens of supporters flooded Battery Park Tuesday in support of an Obama-sponsored program that would protect undocumented immigrants from deportation and temporarily grant them the ability to work.
Against a backdrop of signs reading "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied," about 50 people urged the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to reverse the lower court's decision, filed against Texas and 25 other states, and do so quickly. In February, a federal judge in Texas struck down the two programs, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), according to reports.
"If they want to rule against, then we'll take it to the Supreme Court," said Steven Choi, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. "But they don't want to deal with it, and they think no one will notice if they just let it idle. Well, we notice, and we're going to fight for it."
Teresa Gutierrez, 51, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, said she is disappointed in the lack of action.
"We aren't just suddenly showing up now, we have a life here," said Gutierrez, who has four children who are American citizens. "This would let me be me, and stop living in the shadows."
Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affair, Nisha Agarwal, she was "sorely disappointed" in how long the courts were taking to resolve the issue.
"The health of our city is adversely impacted every day due to the failure of multiple attempts at federal reform," she said.