Last Tuesday, a U.S. federal judge complied with the request from 26 governors and blocked the implementation of Obama’s immigration orders. In doing so, he temporarily halted a process put in place by the government to avoid the deportation of an estimated contingent of 4 to 5 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the USA.
While the government, congressmen and the judiciary fight over the legality, or lack thereof, of the executive measures signed by Obama, immigrants say they feel frustrated, but claim they will not give up on their request to be allowed to live legally in the United States.
The Alliance for Citizenship will hold 75 events in several cities of the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Miami, with the purpose of “supporting and defending” Obama’s measures to avoid the deportation of undocumented immigrant residents of the U.S.
“These are our lives and futures, and they should not be the subject of political games,” said Francisco Curiel, a 22-year-old Mexican, who has lived in New York since 2007, in a rally organized by the Immigration Coalition.
The resolution of Judge Andrew Hanen was announced just a day before the start of the process to begin legalization for thousands of undocumented young adults who belong to the group of so-called “Dreamers” — those that entered illegally into the United States when they were children. These [young adults] were the priority of Obama’s immigration measures, but everything has now been paused until a new judicial order [is given].
Furthermore, the program to accept applications for the legalization of the parents of children who are U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents was suspended by the judge.
“I felt sad and disappointed to learn that I’m not going to be able to apply to the expanded DACA program today … We are going to continue to get ready and to fight for ourselves and families, as I have been doing for years,” stated Curiel, member of the group Make the Road New York.
Mónica Morales, eight months pregnant, is a 35-year-old Guatemalan mother of a 4-year-old daughter. She admitted she couldn’t believe the judge’s decision, but also asserted that she would not give up.
“The day after the president’s announcement, we started to prepare our documents to apply for DAPA,” [Morales said.] “At first, oh my God. I thought, ‘This can’t be happening, they can’t have done this.” She pointed out that [the affected] must have faith and hope, and keep moving forward together.
The states and judges that supported the claim before Judge Hanen believe that Obama violated the Constitution by taking executive actions on the immigration issue. Those states allege that those actions will provoke dramatic and “irreparable harm.”
Like many, Marly Arévalo, a 20-year-old Guatemalan who lives on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., and is studying to be a social worker, will now have to wait for the White House appeal and its result.
“It is a rather large obstacle for me and my brothers, and for the whole community that qualify for the executive action. While I am eligible, I am optimistic about continuing to fight until the law passes,”* she said.
*Editor’s note: The original quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.