The Obama administration has encouraged undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors to continue to sign up to the president’s deferred action program. Despite the expanded version announced last November being halted by a federal judge, the original program is still up and running.
In a statement on Friday, Leon Rodriguez, the director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, attempted to fight the bad press that has resulted from Judge Andrew Hanen’s decision to block Obama’s second executive action on immigration reform. Rodriguez noted that undocumented immigrants eligible for deferred action based on the original 2012 rules can still apply, as this program has not been suspended or impacted in any way by the judge’s ruling.
“DACA lets you work without fear – if you are eligible, you should come forward with confidence,” Rodriguez insisted in the statement. The 2012 executive action grants eligible immigrants a stay of deportation of two years and also work permits. Applicants must have arrived in the United States as minors since 2007, have been under the age of 31 on June 15th 2012, have either armed forces experience or be trying to get a high school diploma, and have no serious criminal convictions.
Obama attempted to expand the policy by taking executive action again last November, taking away the age limit, extending the stay of deportation to three years and moving the eligibility date; however, the plan has been halted ‒ at least for the moment ‒ by Hanen’s injunction.