A new legal battle to legalize the status of 80,000 immigrants in the United States

Several undocumented immigrants, legal and civic organizations on Wednesday asked a federal judge in New York to regularize the nearly 80,000 undocumented immigrants who applied unsuccessfully to join the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program between December 2020 and July 2021.

“We are here to ask the Federal District Court (in Brooklyn) to process the more than 80,000 DACA applications that are currently stuck in a legal limbo that we have been struggling with for the past five years,” Attorney Eliana told Efe. An immigrant beneficiary of DACA and a member of the NGO “Hazando Camino” involved in the lawsuit.

The DACA program, intended for illegal immigrants who came to the United States as minors, protects more than 600,000 immigrants from deportation and grants them work permits, as well as the ability to travel abroad and return.

In December 2020, Judge Nicholas Garofis of New York — who is also the person who will have to rule on this new lawsuit — ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reopen the DACA program for new applications, after an administration that President Donald Trump would attempt to suspend.

However, in July 2021, another federal judge, Andrew Hanin of Texas, declared the DACA program illegal, and although it allowed people registered with it to continue its renewal, it barred new people from enrolling.

Those 80,000 people submitted their applications between the two dates, so according to the NGOs and their lawyers, the authorities should have processed them.

Referring to the people designated for this program, Fernandez insisted, “We want the court to give the green light to process these requests and for those 80,000 people to have the same opportunities that I had under the DACA program,” referring to the people assigned to this program whose status is settled.

One of the plaintiffs whose actions have been blocked is Johanna Lagos, 28, who arrived in the United States when she was “about two years old.”

“My application is in limbo, I can’t do anything, I can’t work legally and it affects me because I can’t contribute to my family as I want,” Lagos, who has an eight-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter, told Effie. Months.

Behind them, about thirty activists chanted slogans in support of illegal immigrants.

“Immigrants united, they will never be defeated,” “The fight is not over, we’re with DACA” or “We’re not one, we’re not a hundred, we’re in the millions, well told” were some of the phrases that people, concentrating before the doors of the New York District Court in Brooklyn.

Today’s hearing takes place one day after the New Orleans Court of Appeals hearing, in which the decision by Texas Judge Hanin on the illegality of DACA was discussed.

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