Last week, immigrants seeking legal status were disappointed to hear that a Texas judge stopped Obama’s immigration action in its tracks with a legal maneuver called a “temporary injunction,” just one day before parts of his plan were to go into effect.
It’s the latest step in a dance Maria Hinojosa likes to call the “U.S. immigration mambo.” Just like the real mambo, you take two steps forward (The Senate passes an immigration bill in 2013); then take a spin and take two steps back (but the House refuses to vote on it). Then in 2014 Obama says he’s open to fixing immigration through executive action — but wait, just a few months later he says executive action is off the table. When the executive action finally comes, it gets blocked the day before immigrants can go and sign up for protected status.
All this back-and-forth can put immigrants in a difficult situation where it’s very hard to find stable ground and plan for the future. Just when they think there’s a way to regularize their status, the rug gets pulled out from other them. How can they trust the U.S. government enough to sign up for these programs?
Angela Fernandez, a laywer and director of Northern Manhattan Coalition For Immigrant Rights, a non-profit advocacy center and legal clinic, join Maria Hinojosa to discuss the human cost of this “immigration mambo.”
Angela Fernandez, Esq., is the Executive Director and supervising attorney of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Within the immigrant rights movement, Angela has helped build broad city-wide coalitions that have reversed policies that would potentially be devastating to vulnerable New Yorkers. Angela’s experience in government, first as an aide to Senator Bill Bradley and then later as the district chief of staff to US Congressman Jose Serrano, has given her a clear understanding of the current policy gaps and the progressive solutions to fill them. Additionally, Angela is a key contributor to both the civil and legal rights of immigrants as a columnist in El Diario and on-air contributor to Univision, Telemundo, NY1, Radio WADO and CNN.