United States

Bay Area Immigrants Protest Supreme Court Decision

The Supreme Court ruling on immigration reform resounded across the Bay Area on Thursday.

Rallies denounced the 4-4 deadlock blocking President Barack Obama’s plan to shield millions living in the United States illegally from deportation.

While local leaders expressed their outrage, large demonstrations cropped up in San Jose, where dozens of community groups joined forces. Students also planned to rally outside the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

A San Jose State University student, Jose Pina, admitted that he wouldn’t have been able to live his dream without Obama’s programs for immigrant parents and children — Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, known as DAPA, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which has been dubbed DACA.

The Pina family found itself in the pews of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish after hearing about the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“I just had to come here to pray,” said Jose Pina, who is a student athlete. His team, the Spartans, will compete in the USA Track and Field Junior Outdoor Championships on Saturday.

Pina, however, is undocumented and is not able to run track without the DACA program.

“It allowed me to compete,” he said.

Pina is slated to run the 5,000-meter event Saturday, knowing his parents can now be deported at any moment, especially since the Supreme Court ruling did nothing to allow parents of immigrant students to stay in the U.S. through the DAPA program.

“I’m so proud of him, and so are my parents because it is something you fight for, and it’s not a given thing,” said Jose Pina’s brother, Omar Pina.

The Pina family will now place its fate in what they believe is the highest law of the land. It’s time to ask for another form of intervention, they said.

“We know that our power is strong, and this will not be over,” said the Rev. Jon Pedigo of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.

NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48 are providing a phone bank in both English and Spanish between 5:30 and 8 p.m. Thursday to help answer any questions about the Supreme Court's ruling on immigration reform. To participate, please call 1-800-548-4884.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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