Arizonans react to blocked immigration orderPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Activists held rallies across the Valley Tuesday as word spread that many of the undocumented immigrants with plans to apply for deferred deportation would have their dreams deferred.
A federal judge blocked President Barack Obama's executive order that would give legal status to millions of immigrants. Immigrants would have been able to begin applying on Wednesday.
"We’re heartbroken," says Idalia Cervantes, whose parents are undocumented. "We heard about this at midnight and it was tears; it was complete tears."
Cervantes' parents moved to the United States in 1993. She says they were planning to apply under DAPA in May. With this ruling, it is unclear when or if they will be able to apply for legal status.
"My mom has worked as a babysitter all her life and my dad is a musician all his life, living under the shadows," Cervantes says. "It has been 20-plus years and honestly, it is not healthy for a human being to be living in the shadows."
Arizona is one of 26 states that are part of a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama's executive order. The judge's ruling allows time for public comment and for the lawsuit to move forward.
Lawmakers called on Governor Doug Ducey to pull out. "Just drop the lawsuit, save the money and really start healing the view that people have of Arizona," Rep. Ruben Gallego says.
"Let’s be real about what’s going on here folks," says state Senator Martin Quezada. "They shopped around, they found a judge that was vocal in his opposition to President Obama, vocal in his opposition to any kind of immigration reform, vocal about his anti-immigrant sentiment."
Activists are encouraging immigrants to continue preparing to apply, confident the judge's ruling will be overturned. Cervantes says she is confident as well: "I know that we’re going to win and I know that this is just a speed bump."