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UFW and UFW Foundation reassure immigrants preparing for administrative relief despite Texas judge’s injunction
02/17/2015

UFW and UFW Foundation reassure immigrants preparing for administrative relief despite Texas judge’s injunction

Following a Texas judge’s injunction temporarily blocking President Obama's executive order on immigration, the United Farm Workers and UFW Foundation remain confident the President will prevail in the courts and encourage hard working immigrants to remain optimist and continue preparing to be ready when administrative relief becomes available.
 
The UFW and UFW Foundation vow to continue battling for administrative action protecting immigrants, to keep pushing for an enactment by Congress of comprehensive immigration reform legislation and to carry on with weekly sessions providing the undocumented with vital information despite the delay caused by the federal court in Brownsville.
 
Acting on a lawsuit filed by a number of Republican attorney generals, Texas U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the expansion of DACA as well as the new DAPA program letting other immigrants also apply for protection from deportation. The Obama administration is acting quickly to appeal the judge’s decision. Expansion of the DACA program, which was to be launched on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, has been put on hold.  It is important to note that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson stated that "The court’s order does not affect the existing DACA [program]. Individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012."
 
“We feel this lawsuit is another example of the Republicans’ effort to intimidate and scare off the undocumented community from coming forward, registering and applying for work permits,” says UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez. “These anti-immigrant politicians can’t reverse the President’s executive action, a victory won as a result of years of UFW activism in pushing for comprehensive immigration reform through marches, demonstrations, lobbying and meetings with President Obama and White House officials.”
 
The UFW views President Obama's executive order as the first concrete step toward fixing the nation’s broken immigration system.

“We urge Republicans to abandon their political games that hurt millions of hard-working, taxpaying immigrants and their families, and help us finish the job by passing legislation such as the comprehensive reform bill that was approved by the Senate on a bipartisan vote in June 2013,” Rodriguez said.  Similar compromise proposals, negotiated by the UFW and the nation's major agricultural employer associations, have passed the U.S. Senate multiple times over the last decade. The same proposal has won majority support in the House of Representatives, even though House GOP leaders have refused to permit a vote on the measure. “The UFW will not rest until the President's deferred relief is enacted and a permanent immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, is signed into law.”
 
The U.S. Department of Justice is appealing Judge Hanen’s decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The Texas judge’s order is a temporary setback and only the first round in a long, legal battle, the UFW observes. “In any case, we are confident that our immigrant families will win in the end,” Rodriguez added.

 Jose Guadalupe Lopez, a former farm worker from Salinas, Calif., would greatly benefit from expanded DACA. As a farm worker, he picked onions, grapes and tomatoes in nearby Hollister, Calif. and chiles in Gilroy, Calif. where he would go to work at 3 p.m. and return home tired and dirty with dust and mud at 3 or 4 a.m. the next morning. He believes  expanded DACA is a great opportunity to help him pursue his educational aspirations. Although he is a college student, Lopez didn't qualify under DACA, but now he will be able to apply for expanded DACA. One day he would like to be able to have the proper identification so he can see his father once again face to face instead of via frequent phone calls.

"When I got a call from the UFW Foundation and was told I qualified for this new DACA, I felt like my heart dropped and I was filled with new positive energy," Lopez said. "I see all this as an opportunity for me to move forward. I, all of us, contribute a lot to this country. Expanded DACA was blocked, but it's only temporary because I'll continue to fight for my dreams and Latinos’ voices will be heard."
 
Meanwhile, the UFW and UFW Foundation will continue hosting weekly DACA and DAPA information sessions at UFW Foundation offices. For more information visit www.sisepuede.org or call 877-881-8281.
 
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