by Elizabeth Elizalde
Francisco Curiel hoped to apply for an immigration relief program that would grant him a Social Security card and a work permit. When a federal judge halted expansion of the Obama administration program, he was shocked. “Is this for real?” he asked himself and everyone else who would listen.
“This is not a game. This is my future and I don’t think it’s fair,” the 22-year-old immigrant from Mexico told ConsumerMojo.
On Friday, the White House said it will seek an appeal and asked for a temporary stay of Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling.
You may question whether the judge’s decision is political or raises a true constitutional question about President Obama’s right to use an executive order to legitimize the U.S. life of nearly five million immigrants.
But for immigrants like Curiel, the ruling blocks the chance “to get that nine-digit card (Social Security card) and come out of the shadows.”
Curiel couldn’t apply for the previous DACA program because he came to the U.S. two months after the cut-off date. Under the new plans both he and his mom qualify.
But let us fill you on the back story. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states in Federal District Court in Brownsville, Texas.
The states asked Judge Hanen, an outspoken critic of President Obama, to halt his plan to expand his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and implement another to give legal rights to parents of those with legal status and others who qualify.
Expansion of the DACA program was set to begin soon, and the administration planned the next phase for parents and others to begin in May.
Immigrant groups in Texas, New York and across the country issued calls to keep the faith and promised to continue to fight for immigration reform.
Antonio Alarcon, of Make the Road New York said, “As an organizer and DREAMER we are going to continue fighting for DACA and DAPA (the adult program) implementations. We knew the judge was anti-immigrant and we were expecting that.”
A spokesperson for the New York Immigration Coalition told ConsumerMojo that he hopes people will continue to get ready to apply for these programs. “There is no harm in immigrants preparing their documents in order to prepare.” This would make it easier for people to apply once the executive order is in force again.
Francisco Curiel gets the last word. “I don’t think it’s defeat. It’s a challenge we must continue to fight,” he told us.
BOTTOM LINE: GET YOUR PAPER WORK READY.
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