A Mexican immigrant who fights against President Donald Trump's attempt to end a program that protects youth from deportation says he is nervous, but also hopeful now that the case will finally be heard in the United States Supreme Court.
Martín Batalla Vidal is the main plaintiff in one of the cases to preserve the program, known as DACA, which was approved by former President Barack Obama. The young Mexican has seen his name in legal documents since 2016, when he first filed a lawsuit in New York to preserve this immigration relief.
Battle Vidal, a nursing assistant at a brain injury rehabilitation clinic in Queens, New York, has described the legal odyssey she has been through as stressful due to the hateful messages she received at the beginning of her struggle to sue Trump He also had to sacrifice many days of work to go to marches, press conferences and meetings with lawyers.RELATED
But despite the concern for his future, try to remain optimistic.
"I don't know what's going to happen," said the immigrant, who lives with his mother, two brothers and a dog in an apartment on the border between Queens and Brooklyn. "Whatever the decision of the judges, we know that we have fought a lot for this and that we will continue to do so."
The Supreme Court is expected to hear the arguments on the case on Tuesday.
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The Migration Policy Institute reports that the 98,000 students who graduated in 2017 would be at risk of being deported
The program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protects some 700,000 people, known as dreamers, who were illegally brought to the United States when they were children or who arrived with their families at country but their visas expired.
Following the attempt to eliminate DACA, pressure on Congress to pass the DREAM Act, a bill aimed at protecting young immigrants vulnerable to deportation, grew. Those who oppose the initiative say it serves to reward people who have broken the law, promote illegal immigration and harm US workers.
Trump ended DACA
Trump ordered the end of DACA in 2017 but federal courts in different states, including New York due to the Vidal Battle lawsuit, prevented the president from eliminating him immediately.
The protections are maintained at least until the Supreme Court issues its decision, which will probably be given in 2020. Program participants can now renew their status, but new applicants are not accepted.
The Obama administration created the program in 2012 to offer social security numbers, work permits and protection from deportation to young people who in many cases have almost no memories of their native countries because they have been in the United States for many years.
The Trump administration says DACA is illegal because Obama did not have the authority to adopt it.
Battle Vidal first sued when a federal court decided that DACA permits could not be extended to a third year, just as the Obama administration wanted. Now, the Mexican is part of the legal battle to preserve the existence of the program itself.
Following Trump's announcement of the elimination of DACA, the Vidal Battle attorneys changed the original lawsuit to focus on fighting that elimination and added more plaintiffs.
A federal judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and in June the Supreme Court agreed to hear the government's appeal to the Battle of Vidal case and others around the country.
On Monday the young Mexican hopes to take a bus with his mother to travel to Washington and join there with members of various civil rights advocacy groups, representatives of universities and various states of the country controlled by the Democratic Party who have also demanded . On Tuesday Battle Vidal will sit in the Supreme Court to hear the arguments in his case and the others.
"No one thought we would go that far," said the Mexican last week after speaking at LaGuardia Community College, where he studies criminal justice. "I have my family, my community that supports me completely from day one."
Battle Vidal crossed the border with Mexico when he was seven years old with his mother and a brother. He has two other brothers who are US citizens.
After going to school in Brooklyn, the Mexican worked as a delivery man and then in a gym to save for college and later to help his mother, who suffers from thyroid and osteoarthritis. Battle Vidal also joined Make The Road New York, a non-profit group that defends the rights of immigrants. The organization's lawyers, along with lawyers from Yale University and the National Immigration Law Center, filed the 2016 lawsuit.
“His courage and his commitment to justice for our communities throughout this legal fight have been admirable and have attracted the attention of people everywhere. Thousands of people sent messages of support after he received hateful messages for suing Trump, ”said Marielena Hincapié, director of the National Immigration Law Center. "Martin is fighting for the freedom to move forward and be himself in this country, which is his home."