Thousands of undocumented immigrants in Houston area reeling from Supreme Court ruling

“We estimate that about 200 thousand people in the greater Houston region would have been potentially eligible for the DAPA program,” said Kate Vickery with Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative.

Under President Obama’s executive proposal called DAPA millions of adults living here illegally in the United States could remain here if they met certain residency requirements and have children who are American citizens or lawful permanent residents.

“So it’s kind of a sense of security for folks who are currently undocumented and without any type of protection from deportation,” Vickery said.

But a split ruling by the Supreme Court means millions of immigrants now face the possibility of being deported.

“My parents could have been potential candidates,” said Karla De Jesus.

De Jesus is here legally under the DACA program which remains in effect.

That 2012 program allows illegal immigrants between 15 and 31 who are going to school and have no criminal history to remain here without the fear of deportation.

De Jesus’s parents are now once again facing that fear.

“That means my sister who is only 9-years-old could at any point in her life be left without parents,” De Jesus said. “My parents are very quiet about the ruling decision. They’re just very disappointed.”

“There are a lot of people in this city who are really sad disappointed and devastated,” Vickery said.

Now more than ever immigrants here illegally need to contact non-profit organizations that specialize in immigration issues.

The big fear now?

Scammers and con artists will use the Supreme Court ruling to con people out of their money.

“Nobody should ever give anyone money to provide them a service for a form of immigration relief that does not in fact exist,” said Vickery.  

If you or someone has been affected by the ruling you can visit: