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Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Tens of Thousands of Undocumented Immigrants in Michigan Await Supreme Court Ruling

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Image credit: Ian McWilliams (Supermac 1961 - FLICKR/Creative Commons)

Immigration attorney says deportations are “tremendously disruptive” for Michigan communities

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Ian McWilliams (Supermac 1961 - FLICKR/Creative Commons)

The status of about four million undocumented immigrants hangs in the balance as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs arguments for and against President Barack Obama’s executive order shielding many of them from deportation. The court heard arguments in the case on Monday.

So what does the case mean for about 100,000 undocumented immigrants living in Michigan illegally?

About 85% of Michigan families with undocumented parents have children who are U.S. citizens, says Susan Reed, managing attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. These are the families directly affected by the president’s executive order.

She says all they want is to know they won’t be forced out of their community or have their families broken up.

We sit with families every day who want to get their status in order, are willing to pay fines… but they are so anxious to be able to address this stressful reality. But there’s no line for them to get in right now,” says Reed.

Most people in this situation are just stuck, just vulnerable. And it’s terrifying,” she says.

Reed says it’s too early to make predictions about how the high court will come down on the issue. But she says it’s most likely the case will turn on Justice Roberts’ stance on whether the state of Texas has standing to sue. Reed says, if the court were to split 4-4 in case, it is not clear what the consequences would be nationwide because of how lower courts ruled.

To hear more from Reed’s conversation on Detroit Today, click on the audio link above.


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