As we know, President Barack Obama’s executive action, which defers the deportation of undocumented workers, will benefit more than 5 million of them, mostly from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, by establishing new administrative rules focused mainly on prioritizing the deportation of immigrants detained at the southern border who are trying to enter illegally; those convicted of serious crimes and those who pose a threat to national security. It would protect parents of citizens or residents who have lived in the country for more than five years, and benefits could extend further to the extension of a temporary work permit.
This whole immigration package, which represents peace of mind for these people and their families, is subject to what may be decided by a Texas judge, before whom the leaders of 25 states have filed a suit with the main aim of totally rejecting the measure.
The concern is that the judge hearing this dispute is, reportedly, a conservative. He has not yet ruled on the admissibility of this suit, but has suggested that it is a subject for “legitimate debate,” which suggests he is leaning toward the plaintiffs; this also constitutes a prejudgment of the case.
Moreover, the House of Representatives, with 236 votes for and 191 against, recently approved the budget for the Department of Homeland Security until September 30, 2015, which includes amendments that block past initiatives outlined by the White House. This includes freezing the program that protects children in an irregular situation from deportation, regarding them as an affront to the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.
The positive here is that President Obama has the power of veto, which he said he would exercise if this bill passes the Senate — and this body is controlled by Republicans. Democratic leaders believe this to be unnecessary as it would put the operations of the Department of Homeland Security and the national security of the U.S. in danger.
Given this uncertainty, undocumented immigrants, including our compatriots, will probably benefit from such new immigration relief programs issued by the White House, as they have under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or the “dreamers” on a similar plan, because, if these programs are not revoked or blocked in some way, they will be effective and in full force soon — although maybe temporarily — and immigrants will be better positioned for any future immigration reform that will someday be afforded to them.