Washington, June 24 (IANS) The US Supreme Court’s 4-4 tied decision over President Barack Obama’s immigration policy, which left nearly five million undocumented immigrants in a legal limbo, became the most important issue at the conference of Latino politicians of America.
“The community is very disappointed”, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Official’s (NALEO) president Arturo Vargas told EFE news at the NALEO annual conference held on Thursday.
NALEO, one of the most important Hispanic organisations in the US, is holding a conference in Washington from today to June 25 and thousands of Latino officials and national leaders across the country are participating.
The Supreme Court decided to block Obama’s plan to legalize millions of illegal immigrants is something that Vargas “had expected from this Supreme Court”, evenly divided between the four liberal justices and four conservative.
The draw among eight judges of the High Court, and the absence of the ninth judge after the death of the ultra-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia last February, blocked Obama’s plan to lift the threat of deportation from undocumented residents.
Vargas added that the immigration reform bill must be advanced because it is the “only law that is going to fix the situation”.
Among the political leaders who attended the conference is California congressman and the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Xavier Becerra.
“The eight judges in the Supreme Court are those who will tell us whether our relatives, neighbours or friends will have the opportunity to emerge from the shadows or whether our children will have access to higher education,” Becerra said during his speech at the NALEO annual conference.
Although both likely candidates, Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party and Republican Donald Trump, rejected a NALEO invitation, Senator Bernie Sanders, who won the votes from Latinos with his “comprehensive immigration reform” bill, attended the conference.