Immigrant Living in Prince George County Explains Why a Texas Court Ruling Could Affect His Entire Future



For the majority of Americans, the immigration debate is nothing more than an issue that appears in the news headlines and in political campaigns, but for Miguel A. Guzman, a 32-year-old resident of Prince George County — and an illegal immigrant who has been living in the U.S. for 15 years — the immigration reform debate is like a never-ending rollercoaster.

When the Obama Administration announced policy changes back in November 2014, Guzman learned that he would be able to stay in the U.S. with his wife and two children, joining an estimated 4.4 million undocumented immigrants who were promised protection from deportation.

Recently, however, a Texas federal judge called the immigration reform policy into question. On March 19th, Texas officials argued in court that the U.S. Justice Department had misled state courts regarding the number of undocumented immigrants who could be eligible to apply for deportation deferrals.

The lawsuit is part of a larger dispute involving 26 states, according to the Wall Street Journal, but it is likely to set a precedent for how other states handle the policy.

Bloomberg Business explains that these 26 states “claim the program [regarding delayed deportation] illegally changes immigration law without Congressional approval, and is an amnesty program that rewards people in the country illegally.”

According to Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) policy, any undocumented immigrant could qualify for deportation waivers if he/she has been living in the U.S. for at least five years, has at least one child born an American citizen (or was brought into the States as a minor), and can pass a criminal background check.

Guzman certainly fits all those requirements, but when he learned that the Texas court was challenging Obama’s policy, Guzman told Southern Maryland Online that it felt like “an ice bucket had been dumped on my head.”

Although DAPA would only grant Guzman temporary legal status in the U.S., it would certainly give him a better chance to eventually obtain one of the 1,001,715 green cards given out to immigrants each year, granting permanent American citizenship.

Guzman already owns a successful plumbing business in the Washington D.C. neighborhood, but without a Social Security number, he is unable to become a licensed plumber. More than anything else, he simply wants to provide for his children and ensure their future success — and millions of immigrants just like Guzman are waiting to see how the Texas federal court rules.

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