In a diverse community like Roswell, some citizens may find themselves questioning where they stand on immigration.
Roswell City Councilman Marcelo Zapata, along with Kuck Immigration Partners, held a public immigration forum on June 21 at Roswell City Hall. The forum allowed citizens to ask questions and receive important information pertaining to immigration laws.
“This is the first event done like this in Roswell and you have to start somewhere,” said Zapata. “I think the questions people asked were very interesting questions. People were eager to learn about their options.”
Keith Jensen, an associate attorney representing Kuck Immigration Partners, led the discussion.
“The idea is to give people information that they need to make informed decisions,” said Jensen.
The main topic Jensen covered involved clearing up misconceptions about Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.
In November 2014, President Obama filed executive actions stating that the U.S. government would prepare to start accepting requests for DAPA. If passed, DAPA would allow parents of children born in the United States to stay temporarily without fear of deportation. Additionally DAPA recipients could apply for employment authorization, which allows them to work legally for a three year period.
In the politically charged United States v. Texas case that stalled DAPA implementation, 26 states stood behind Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas to issue a preliminary injunction. This injunction temporarily blocked the expansion of existing immigration reforms as well as DAPA. The injunction did not change reforms that the government already put into effect.
But, just this month the U.S. Supreme Court voted 4-4 on the government’s challenge to that injunction, effectively ending any hopes of DAPA moving forward.
After a general question and answer session, the forum ended with an invitation to ask case specific questions and receive some consultation. Both Zapata and Jensen expressed a willingness to host similar forums and events in the future.