Undocumented immigrants worried about family after court's decision

Undocumented immigrants worried about family after court's decision
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Supreme Court was divided Thursday in a case dealing with President Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration.

Those actions included DAPA and DACA, two programs that would allow immigrants to work, have social security, and medical care here in the United States.

With the court divided, the programs are blocked from going into effect, leaving the decision to the lower courts.

After Arkansas was one of 26 states that voted down the program, some undocumented immigrants in Region 8 are concerned about their families.

David Nunez, organizer of the Arkansas United Community Coalition's Immigrant Resource Center in Jonesboro, said their main concern is that immigrants will now go back into the shadows in fear of deportation.

One man, who asked not to be identified, is concerned about what will happen with his family.

"If I didn't come here then I would have never met my daughter," the man said.

There are roughly 3,800 undocumented immigrants in Craighead County, most of which are disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision.

"Personally, I feel impotent because, like I said earlier, we don't have the same rights as American citizens and our voice doesn't count as much," he said.

He said he came to this country in hopes of education, medical care, and other things he needs to provide for his family.

Because his daughter was born in America, the man could have qualified for DAPA if it went into effect, but now he fears he could be taken away from his family altogether.

"I am worried, and my daughter is also worried that she won't have her parents because we don't have the same rights," he said.

No matter how strong that fear is, he said he is still grateful to be in America right now.

"We like to work hard, and we like to contribute to this country," he said. "Contribute students, contribute men and women of God, to have a better future and to thank this country really."

The man said he will continue to stay positive and pray for a brighter day in the immigrant community.

"We will appreciate it if we could give more and if this country would support us with a little bit of relief to contribute more," he said.

Nunez encourages all immigrants to stay strong, work hard, and to encourage each other to carry on their normal daily lives without going into hiding.

He said they will still fight for a comprehensive immigration reform.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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