More than one million undocumented immigrants in the United States face a difficult situation in 2019 as the protection programs they benefit from are under the control of President Donald Trump's Administration and will be studied by the Supreme Court.
The first thing that the Supreme Court, with a conservative majority, will evaluate is the situation of the almost 700,000 beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the program created in 2012 by former President Barack Obama and which regularizes, although temporarily, to undocumented youth who came from the hand of their parents.
Already in his time as a candidate, Trump promised to abolish that program and, finally, in September 2017 the then Attorney General of the current Administration, Jeff Sessions, announced his rescission.
However, four months later, a federal judge in California ordered that the program be maintained and that the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) continue to accept renewals.
California was followed on the same line by two other federal magistrates and this led the Administration to request the intervention of the highest judicial instance, almost at the same time that a federal court of appeals endorsed the blockade to the elimination of the program.
United We Dream, the largest organization that groups DACA beneficiaries, estimates that the Supreme Court could decide whether to attend this case in mid-January.
Luis Cortes, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys and representing six DACA beneficiaries, believes that the arrival of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is not encouraging, since "lately he has voted on the side of the Government and has followed his ultra-conservative tendency. ", he told Efe.
Cortes, also benefited by the Deferred Action, sees a hope in the magistrate Neil Gorsuch, who despite having been nominated by President Trump has recently failed in favor of immigrants and against the current Government.
For his part, Cesar Vargas, co-founder of Dream Action Coalition, told Efe that those protected by DACA should be prepared for an adverse ruling and, in addition to encouraging them to renew their status to earn two more years, he warned that they should be allocated efforts to press Congress.
"The demands gave us time, but even if the Supreme Court ruled in our favor, we need a definitive solution and we can not lose this objective," warned Vargas, who was also covered by the DACA program.
The Congress also includes the more than 430,000 immigrants, of whom 350,000 are Central Americans, protected by the Temporary Protection Status (TPS), the immigration protection granted to nationals of countries affected by wars or natural disasters.
This program has been canceled by President Trump in the case of some countries and is also subject to legal battles.
"We have to earn a space in the minds of Americans to understand the value of people with TPS," said Efe Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer Network (NDLON, for its acronym in English).
In February, a group of 3,000 protected by the TPS, among activists and members of organizations that make up the TPS Alliance, will arrive in Washington to ask the new Congress, whose lower house will already be a Democratic majority, a permanent solution.
In fact, several Hispanic congressmen have sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi, who will assume the direction of said chamber from January, so that in the first hundred days of work the new Congress will enact laws that protect the beneficiaries of DACA and TPS.
The other battle front for activists in defense of the TPS is in the courts.
NDLON was one of the organizations behind the lawsuit against the Trump government and was backed by federal judge Edward Chen, who allowed the lawsuit against the cancellation of the TPS to continue in June.
The judge will have to issue a final decision on the lawsuit, although Alvarado believes that Chen will be ratified and, therefore, the federal Administration will take the matter to the Supreme Court.
Both Alvarado and Vargas warn that even if a bill that legalizes the DACA and TPS beneficiaries is finally approved, there is a possibility that Trump will refuse to convert them into law.
"(In that case) we will have to be ready to extend the suffering and resist these two remaining years of government," Alvarado said.