As President Obama tries to save his plan to shield some five million people from deportation, immigration activists have been marching and planning more demonstrations to support him.
Protesters rallied Friday in more than 20 cities, including Washington, DC, New York and Chicago. Actions are scheduled in nine other locations over the weekend.
They say they are mobilizing their constituents to fight for relaxed immigration enforcement because two courts have delayed the president’s orders.
A federal court in Texas and an appellate court in New Orleans have ruled that the president overstepped his authority with his executive actions. The rulings came after Texas and 25 other states filed suit.
The administration said Friday it is asking the Supreme Court to remove stays by the lower courts. Obama first announced his plan a year ago.
A spokeswoman for the Texas Attorney General’s office, Cynthia Meyer, said “we stand ready to continue defending the rule of law against the president’s unconstitutional use of executive power.”
The president’s executive orders would protect the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. They also would expand coverage for young people brought to this country as children.
“This is only the beginning,” said Alma Couverthie, senior director of organizing for the Maryland-based CASA in Action. “I hope that this leads to the realization that what we really need is comprehensive immigration reform.”
Advocates in other cities said they are also trying to show their movement is still alive, said Emily Kessel, a spokeswoman for the Virginia-based National Korean-American Service and Education Consortium.
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