Immigration reform has long been a personal issue for Latino voters. According to polling from Latino Decisions, one in three registered Latino voters are related to someone who is undocumented. An additional one in three have a close friend who is an undocumented immigrant.
Now, new research from the Center for American Progress shows that DAPA, the program that would protect millions of immigrants with deep roots and ties to the United States from deportation, also matters to US citizens. Millions of Latino US citizens across the nation have parents or family members who are undocumented and stand to be affected if the Supreme Court does not uphold the program.
More than 6.1 million U.S. citizens in states across the nation live with a family member who will remain in fear of deportation if the Supreme Court rules against DAPA in United States v. Texas. California, which joined 15 other states and the District of Columbia in filing an amicus brief in support of the deferred action policies, leads the way with more than 1.8 million U.S citizen family members of DAPA-eligible individuals. Texas, which spearheaded the lawsuit to block implementation, has the second-highest number of affected U.S. citizens at nearly 1.1 million.
As the report notes, these numbers are conservative since they do not include family members who are eligible for expanded DACA.
Currently, both DAPA and expanded DACA are on hold following a partisan lawsuit from Texas and 25 other states. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case next month, with a decision possibly in late June. If upheld, the programs would stand to not only give millions of undocumented immigrants peace of mind, but their US citizen family members, too.