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Obama Administration Immigration Program Halted by Federal Courts


The excitement and enthusiasm felt by supporters of President Obama's landmark immigration reform is beginning to dim as the Executive Orders continue to be held up in federal red tape. Now, even as activists and communities prepare to help implicate the programs’ new protections against deportation, even the White House is pulling back its efforts to push the reform through the courts.

As The Washington Post reports, the President's Orders were unveiled last November and aimed at shielding nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation as long as they met several "good standing" criteria. The reform was immediately met with resistance and 26 states sued the administration, claiming the programs were unconstitutional. Then, in February, a federal judge in Texas halted the orders—a judicial action that was also affirmed in an appeals court.

The legal quagmire has led to what some are calling a "screeching halt." A building in Crystal City that was set aside to help implement the new immigration policies by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services now sits vacated and unfinished. As Kenneth Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council 119 told The Washington Post, "everything is on hold.”

Continued Optimism from Organizers

Despite the setbacks, immigrant organizers and advocates remain hard at work to prepare their communities for the registration process under the president’s new programs. In Chicago, the National Partnership for New Americans has already held 700 information sessions on the new registration programs and trained more than 2,000 volunteers willing to help immigrants apply for them.

The optimism that is counting on the Obama Administration to eventually overcome the federal court hurdles is prevalent in immigration organizations all over the country. “There is a sense of being undeterred, that we are going to continue planning,” said Marielena Hincapie, who serves as executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. "We need to make sure that the infrastructure is in place and ready to go."

If you or a loved one is facing an immigration law matter, then we invite you to contact us at Milla & Associates, LLC ​today. Our skilled and compassionate team of Chicago immigration law attorneys is dedicated to ensuring that our clients understand their legal options and have every opportunity assert their role as valuable, contributing members of our community.

The advocacy you and your family need is just a phone call away. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.