Mendiaz-Rivera, 26, a University of New Mexico
graduate student and an immigrant who had been granted
temporary protection from deportation, works in an
office on campus on Thursday, June 23, 2016. The
Supreme Court deadlocked Thursday on President Barack
Obama's immigration plan that sought to shield
millions living in the U.S. illegally from
deportation, effectively killing the plan for the rest
of his presidency.
— After learning the Supreme Court deadlocked on an
immigration plan that would protect her from being deported,
Marta Gualotuna could barely speak through her tears.
decision is very, very painful for me," Gualotuna, 57,
said in Spanish through a translator. The Ecuadorian
immigrant had hoped the court would uphold President Barack
Obama's 2014 executive order, which was designed to reduce
the threat of deportation for certain immigrants living in
the U.S. illegally.
sadness, Gualotuna, a New York City resident who's been in
the country for more than 20 years and has three
American-born children, was also determined. "The only
thing I know is we're going to keep fighting," she
It was a
sentiment expressed by other immigrants and their advocates
Thursday after the high court's deadlock left intact a lower
court ruling blocking Obama's order.
me, living in the shadows, it's like I don't have a life.
I'm like nobody. I feel like nobody," said Betty
Jaspeado, a mother of three in Los Angeles.
this Oct. 5, 2013, file photo, Martha Gualotuna of New
York, center left, walks across the Brooklyn Bridge
during a march and rally highlighting immigration
reform, in New York. Gualotuna is one of the four
million immigrants who would have benefited from a
program that was blocked on Thursday, June 23, 2016,
by a decision of the Supreme Court.
immigrant described her working life in the United States as
one devoid of hope, one where she constantly watched her
back in fear of deportation. The possibility of protection
offered by Obama had given her something to hold onto.
thinking I could feel human again," Jaspeado said.
2014, Obama proposed Deferred Action for Parents of
Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, and he
expanded the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or
DACA, to effectively shield up to 4 million immigrants. His
executive orders to this effect were put forth in a
political climate where the chances for a legislative
overhaul of the nation's broken immigration system were
remote at best.
Rosas, center, is consoled by two of her four
daughters, Jocabet Martinez, left, and Girsea
Martinez, right, while speaking on the phone with
another daughter, Greisa Martinez, (who was outside
the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.) after the news
of the United States Supreme decision was announced on
the case of United States v. Texas, No. 15-674,
Thursday, June 23, 2016, in their Duncanville, Texas
home. The Supreme Court split the decision 4-4, which
left the appeals court ruling to block President
Obama's plan to shield as many as five million
undocumented immigrants from deportation and to allow
them to work legally in the country.
states filed suit against those orders, and a divided
Supreme Court had no definitive answer. Stuck in the middle
were people like the parents of Giselle Gasca, 22, of
her parents, whose names she did not reveal, were eligible
for DAPA through her sister, a U.S. citizen. She had hoped
they would get a chance to experience the opportunities she
has been able to get through the original DACA program, such
as the ability to travel outside the United States with the
right permits. The travel limitations, Gasca said, prevented
her mother from returning to Mexico to visit her own
something that my mom was hoping for, and I was hoping for
her," Gasca said. "When her dad passed in 2009,
she wasn't able to go back to Mexico and say her final
the ruling was "heartbreaking." He tried to offer
assurances, saying his administration's priorities for
deportations would continue to be new arrivals and those
with criminal records.
long as you have not committed a crime, our limited
immigration enforcement resources are not focused on
you," Obama said.
stand in the middle of a major downtown road to
protest a Supreme Court decision on immigration
Thursday June 23, 2016, in Phoenix. The crowd carried
signs in sweltering heat and chanted in Spanish and
English. About two dozen more stood on the sidewalk in
reassuring to many immigrants and their advocates, who have
long criticized Obama for tightening enforcement of current
laws at the border. Many of them call him the "deporter
in chief," and some didn't waste any time making their
on Thursday, more than 60 people blocked a major
thoroughfare outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement building, carrying signs in sweltering heat and
chanting in Spanish and English. Protester Eduardo Sainz, of
the nonprofit advocacy group Mi Familia Vota, said the
Supreme Court's deadlock brought tears to his eyes.
is a demonstration to show our community members that
they're not alone and to also show our elected officials
that we will hold them accountable. And that we will explore
all the different scenarios that we have to do in order to
move our agenda forward," Sainz said.
in North Carolina, Latino activists blamed Gov. Pat McCrory
for joining the federal lawsuit that blocked a program to
shield some immigrants. A few dozen people rallied outside
the executive mansion in Raleigh Thursday evening chanting
"sin papeles, sin miedo" - no papers, no fear -
and "McCrory, escucha, estamos en la lucha" -
McCrory, listen, we're fighting.
going to keep pushing and fighting and going forward,"
said Carmen Rodriguez, a DAPA eligible parent from Raleigh,
who has three sons who are U.S. citizens. "We're going
to work to make sure Latino voters come out like never
puts even more pressure on the result of the presidential
election. Democrat Hillary Clinton has spoken out in support
of the executive actions, while Republican Donald Trump has
spoken of his intention to build a border wall and deport
all 11 million immigrants in the country illegally.
plan to be part of the election process, said Javier Valdes,
co-executive director of Make the Road New York, an advocacy
going to be fighting this until we get the outcome we
want," Valdes said, pointing to efforts to influence
those who can vote. "We want to punish those that came
after us," he said.
Mendiaz-Rivera, 26, a graduate student at the University of
New Mexico, said the court's action may spark more Latinos
to vote in November.
think that might be the only silver lining in this
ruling," Mendiaz-Rivera said. "Those of us (who)
are undocumented ... can't vote. But we sure as heck can
encourage our friends and family who are citizens to go