By Marivir Montebon
New York City — Despite the temporary injunction by a Texas federal court on the Obama Executive Action on Immigration, individuals may still step up and request initial grant or renewal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) based on the the guidelines established in 2012.
What the recent court ruling of Judge Andrew Hanen did was to delay the implementation of the expanded DACA, set for implementation today, February 18, and the Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), set to roll in May 2015.
“Similar lawsuits in the past were thrown out or dismissed so I believe that this ruling will be overturned on appeal. The Federal government will prevail and expanded DACA and DAPA will be implemented. This ruling ‘though delays the start of the expanded DAPA and DACA,” said Attorney Regina Domingo, an immigration lawyer based in Maryland.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to receive initial and renewal applications. The Court’s order does not affect the Homeland Security department’s ability to set and implement enforcement priorities. “The priorities established in my November 20, 2014 memorandum entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants” remain in full force and effect,” said Department of Homeland Secretary Jeh C. Johnson.
Domingo said that the decision of Judge Hanen was politically motivated. “It did not consider or plainly disregarded the widespread economic and social benefits that the expanded DACA and DAPA would provide. The alleged harm and purported costs to the State as a result of the program that the judge gave credence in his decision were only speculations and not supported by evidence on record,” she said.
The Department of Justice is set to file an appeal on the Court ruling while the Department of Homeland Security will comply with the injunction. The DHS will not accept new requests for the expanded DACA which was supposedly scheduled to begin today.
“I strongly disagree with Judge Hanen’s decision. The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts and even other courts have said that our actions are well within our legal authority. Our actions will also benefit the economy and promote law enforcement. We fully expect to ultimately prevail in the courts, and we will be prepared to implement DAPA and expanded DACA once we do,” Johnson said in a press release.
Immigrant organizations here vow to push for an immigration law that is both humane and comprehensive. “Immigrants should continue to fight for their rights. We are the lifeblood of US economy,” said Susan Pineda, an immigration assistance specialist providing services in the entire US.
“We were supposed to be happy today with the implementation of the expanded DACA. But why can’t the leaders just allow it? It means money to penalize fees for overstaying aliens and it costs much to deport families. I think it is a no-brainer but politics gets in the way,” remarked Gloria Buendia, a teacher in Queens.