Immigration Rights Groups Respond to SCOTUS Hearing
AUSTIN—How the Supreme Court eventually rules on immigration will have a big impact in Texas.
An estimated 1.8 million undocumented immigrants call Texas home and hundreds of thousands would benefit from the president's plan.
The fate of President Obama's immigration overhaul is hanging in the balance and the same can be said for the undocumented immigrants already living in Texas.
"Well, a lot of people are afraid for this decision, because you can be together, or you can separate families," said Antolin Aguirre, with the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition.
Immigration rights groups have been rallying in support of the President's plan. The Workers Defense Project’s executive director, Jose Garza, said it doesn't just benefit immigrant families, but also the economy.
"To the tune of $38 billion in an increase to our state GDP," said Garza.
Garza points to the construction industry. He said over half of the industry's workforce in Texas is undocumented.
“Here in the state of Texas close to 750,000 men and women would benefit from that order, would be able to live, work, contribute to our economy and not have to live in fear of being torn apart, separated and deported," said Garza.
But the state's top leaders see things differently. The court battle started back in 2014 when Gov. Greg Abbott was the state's attorney general. Ken Paxton is now leading the charge. He has said it's more about the constitution than it is about illegal immigration.
"I feel like the justices are going to support Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution, which requires the laws be faithfully executed by the President of the United States and that he doesn't have the authority to make law,” said Paxton.
Meanwhile, Gov. Abbott has referred to the President's plan as 'executive amnesty' and has said it's the President's job to follow the law, not rewrite it.