As U.S. court hears arguments on Obama orders, millions of immigrants await decision

 Demonstrators, led by the New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice and the Congress of Day Laborers, participate in a rally outside the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in April. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Demonstrators, led by the New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice and the Congress of Day Laborers, participate in a rally outside the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in April. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

A federal appeals court will hear arguments Friday on whether to lift a Texas judge’s injunction on President Barack Obama’s executive actions on U.S. immigration.

Obama proposed expanding a program that protects young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. He proposed another that extends deportation protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for some years.

New Jersey Policy Perspective says allowing those directives would benefit the Garden State.

Erika Nava, a policy analyst for the liberal-leaning think tank, said allowing the president’s orders to proceed would be a good step forward in helping about 200,000 undocumented immigrants in New Jersey.

“This is a common-sense approach and is minimal compared to any comprehensive immigration reform,” she said. “These executive actions will only give them a work permit and protection them deportation. It will not give them legal status.”

Being able to work legally would be a financial boost for those immigrants and the state, Nava said.

“Once they’re able to get a work permit, they will be able to apply for better jobs. Their wages will increase. They will even be able to open businesses,” she said. “As their income increases they will help the state’s economy by paying more taxes.”

The executive actions would also help children in those immigrant families who often live in poverty, she said.

The executive order was blocked when 26 states claimed Obama’s actions are unconstitutional because they amount to lawmaking that should be left up to Congress.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, temporarily blocked the immigration action on Feb. 16.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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