The appeals court hearing the lawsuit blocking President Obama’s new immigration programs, DAPA and Expanded DACA, that would shield hundreds of thousands of undocumented Texans and millions of Americans from deportation last night ruled to continue blocking the implementation of the programs. Millions of American families remain in limbo because of the ruling, which the Obama administration will appeal to the Supreme Court. The decision did not affect the original 2012 DACA program, which remains a force for improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth throughout the nation.

In response to the ruling, Juanita Valdez-Cox, Executive Director of La Unión del Pueblo Entero, issued the following statement:

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Juanita Valdez-Cox, LUPE executive director

We are outraged by the court’s decision yesterday, but the decision only strengthens our resolve as a community to continue our fight for justice. We will not give up the fight for justice for immigrant families. Justice will prevail. We are disappointed at the court’s willingness to deny the respect and dignity of immigrants, but we are confident that these policies are on solid legal ground. Thankfully, the Obama administration has already announced that it will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court, where we hope that justice will prevail.

We must remember that our movement won Deferred Action for DREAMers in 2012 and we won again when the President announced the Deferred Action for Parents and Expanded DACA programs in November of last year. We won in 2012 and again in 2014 because our nation is a nation with a rich cultural diversity and heritage that prides itself on welcoming the stranger. We won because our immigrant brothers and sisters have stood up for their own dignity and shared their stories with the nation, touching the hearts of countless Americans. We won because as a nation, we care about practical solutions to a problem that separates families and divides communities.

Despite this ruling, we will continue winning. We will continue inching our way toward an immigration system that upholds the dignity of all. We will win because the Deferred Action programs are practical and in line with our values as a nation. We will win because the alternative—the deportation of 11 million immigrant Americans—violates our values as a nation and is as unworkable as it is inhumane. What would be the impact on the forest of uprooting 11 million trees? We cannot uproot 11 million mothers, fathers, workers, business owners from our families and communities without devastating them and devastating our very definition of what it means to be an American.

Our eventual victory will not come easy. No great victory has ever been won without great sacrifice. We will register. We will vote. We will organize, speak up, and stand up for our communities and core values under siege. We will make our voices heard at the ballot box in March 2016 and then again in November. We won’t forget then what is being said now. And we will do it all while holding in our hearts a deep commitment to respect and dignity for every human being.

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We call on all those who believe in an America of opportunity, where all are created equal, to join our movement. Already, over one thousand Valley residents have signed our petition to Texas Governor Greg Abbott in support of the programs. Over three hundred RGV businesses have joined LUPE and our partners in the Equal Voice Network and signed letters to the governor in support of the programs. Already, Dallas, Travis, El Paso, Hidalgo and Cameron counties have passed resolutions calling for the implementation of the programs.

Wherever you are and whoever you are with, you can join our movement and make a difference. Register to vote; collect signatures from businesses in your area; sign and share petition; ask your city and county leaders to pass a resolution in support of immigrant families. Use your voice to call on our political leaders at every level to support practical solutions to our immigration system that allow new Americans to contribute to our country and economy to their fullest potential.

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