The federal government was initially set to start accepting applications Tuesday for the President’s executive action granting work permits to undocumented parents of U.S. citizens.
Instead, the reforms are temporarily shelved amid a court battle — and hundreds of immigrants rallied in lower Manhattan, calling for an end to the delay.
“I live for my kids and grandkids,” said Bushwick, Brooklyn, babysitter Magdalena Brito, 70, who fears being deported to her native Ecuador away from her family.
Brito said she was filled with “such happiness” when she first heard about the program, called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability or DAPA, and was devastated when a Texas federal judge blocked it. She’s still hopeful it will go forward.
“Hope is the last thing to die,” Brito said at the protest, outside immigration offices at 26 Federal Plaza.
The Obama administration has asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to allow the program to go ahead during the legal challenge, but the court has not yet ruled on the matter. Experts say it could take six months to a year before a final decision is made.
The Manhattan rally — organized by a wide number of immigrant and labor groups, including Make the Road New York, La Fuente and the New York Immigration Coalition — was one of dozens of protests held across the country.
Protesters chanted “What do we want? DAPA! When? Now!”
Nearby, a half-dozen counter protesters held up signs bearing such messages as “Deport illegals” and “Hispanics against illegal aliens.”
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