Immigrants, advocates have a message for McCrory

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Undocumented immigrants express disappointment at immigration ruling.

Gov. Pat McCrory was one of 26 Republican governors to sign on to the original 2014 lawsuit to block President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

So Thursday's news from the U.S. Supreme Court was a win for the governor, but a big disappointment for undocumented immigrants here in the state.

Thursday night, they brought their grief to the governor's front door.

Mothers, fathers, children, and immigration advocates staged a mock funeral outside the Governor's mansion. They came representing the thousands of undocumented immigrants in North Carolina who are once again living in limbo- including little Geraldine Rodriguez' mother and father.


"It does affect my mom and dad because they're undocumented and this would change their life," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez was born in the U.S. She has legal status. But her parents came here illegally.

President Obama's 2014 executive order protected undocumented parents like Rodriguez's. And the President's 2012 order stopped deportations of teens brought to the U.S. as children.


Thursday 4-4 tie decision at the Supreme Court essentially wipes away the president's orders.

"A lot of families are heartbroken right now," said Sheila Arias, an immigration advocate with Raleigh non-profit Moms Rising. "A lot of families are going to be breaking and we have no idea what the future holds."

The Supreme Court tie upholds a Texas judge's order siding with McCrory and other Republicans who argued President Obama overstepped his power.

"This is a win for the constitution. Congress, not the president writes the laws," House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a Capitol Hill news conference following the High Court's decision.

Back at the Governor's Mansion, these undocumented immigrants vowed to keep fighting.

"No papers, no fear! No papers, no fear!" they shouted from Blount Street.

They used the mock funeral to symbolically bury their fears and come out from the shadows. They came to tell McCrory there would be a price to pay come November.

"We really want to tell (McCrory), send a message to him that elections are right around the corner and a lot of us are American citizens and we have the right to vote -- meaning come Election Day we will definitely vote," Arias said.

In the short term, not much will change.

President Obama has broad discretion to prioritize who gets deported. But the next president could quickly re-prioritize; raising the stakes for the November elections.

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