SALT LAKE CITY – With President Obama’s immigration plans on hold, thousands of immigrants living in Utah are in limbo.
“She’s a little frustrated,” says a translator for Blanca, who is a woman from Mexico living in the U.S. without legal permission.
Blanca is disappointed with the Supreme Court’s deadlock decision on immigration reform. The wife and mother of two came to Utah from Mexico eight years ago.
“They come here because of the American dream, cause she wants her family and her children to have a better future,” Blanca said.
She’s part of the growing population of Latinos in Utah, a group waiting for Obama’s policy to protect them from deportation.
While the plan wouldn’t offer permanent legal status, it would provide parents and young people a pathway toward citizenship.
“A lot of of our families are in limbo and will be in limbo,” said Mayras Cedano with Communities United.
The group helps people like Blanca become citizens. She says this setback will make it more difficult for families to stick together.
“Unfortunately, today a lot of families will go back to their homes feeling like they have a threat of being deported or that they may be separated at any time,” Cedano said.
Utah Representative Angela Romero, D-District 26, says the indecision by the Supreme Court shows the importance of having a full-bench.
“We as lawmakers at the state level have our hands tied," she said. "We need our federal government and our congressional members to step up and do something about that.”
Despite the deadlock, immigrant advocates vow to keep fighting.
A community meeting was organized in West Valley City in the wake of the ruling. The meeting was scheduled for June 23 at 6 p.m. and was being held at Comunidades Unidas (Communities United), located at 1750 West Research Way (2770 South), Suite 102 in West Valley City.