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Immigrants Frustrated Over Stalled Deportation Relief Program (DACA)

Immigrants energized by President Barack Obama’s Executive Order regarding enhancements to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program were disappointed last week when a court order blocked the US government from accepting applications for the update program as planned yesterday.

However, New Jersey’s immigrant communities should be aware that existing DACA guidelines still apply. People should continue to make requests for initial DACA grants as well as renewals, according to established rules set force in 2012.

Additionally, be careful of scam artists who are looking to take advantage of immigrants regarding applications for various programs. Contact an experienced lawyer who can advise you correctly about any legal program you may be entitled to participate in.

It’s completely understandable that immigrant communities nationwide have been feeling fear, anger and frustration after the Obama administration put its deportation relief program on hold. The program has been temporarily canceled because a federal judge ruled that the administration had exceeded its authority. The president has promised to appeal the decision and predicts that he will prevail, however, for tens of thousands of immigrants, the promise to try is simply not enough.

“We’re not going to disregard this federal court ruling,” President Obama said in a brief statement, but he committed to continuing the fight, noting “I think the law is on our side and history is on our side.”

Homeland Security was 10 days away from losing funding when this new ruling made a compromise seem even less possible than before. Unless Democrats agree to cancel these immigration orders, Republicans will continue to block funding for the agency. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama stated that, “Congress must reassert its waning power. We must re-establish the constitutional principle that the people’s representatives control the purse.”

However, the Democrats who have been blocking a bill that would simultaneously fund the department and also undo President Obama’s actions, said the judge’s ruling did absolutely nothing to sway them.  Chuck Schumer of New York said, “Democrats remain united in our belief that funding for the Department of Homeland Security should not be used as a ransom by Republicans, period.”

Obama’s actions would allow more than four million illegal immigrants to become eligible for three-year deportation stays and work permits. These are mainly individuals who have been in the country for five years or more and who have children that are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Acceptance of applications for the first phase of the process was supposed to begin on Wednesday. Understandably, there is palpable anxiety in immigrant communities across the nation.

If you are concerned about how this new ruling will impact you or your family, an immigration attorney can help you understand your rights and your options. Contact the law offices of Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC today.


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