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Know Your Rights
Source: Queens Chronicle
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

Ridgewood resident fights to stay in U.S.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient and Ridgewood resident Mart’n Batalla Vidal is the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York last Thursday aiming to unfreeze Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and expanded DACA applications.

Vidal, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico without authorization when he was 7 years old, is being represented by lawyers from Make the Road New York, the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School and the National Immigration Center.

If he wins in court, he will get the three-year working permit that he applied for. The applications for the permits were frozen after an injunction last year made by a Texas federal judge in Texas et al. v. United States — a case in which 26 states sued the federal government — to halt President Obama’s expansion of DACA and DAPA. A Department of Homeland Security initiative to extend two-year work permits to three years for DACA recipients also was blocked by the litigation. The ruling said that the president had exceeded his constitutional authority, and it was affirmed without precedent upon appeal by a deadlocked Supreme Court in June.

“I feel like the injunction that happened in Texas with the judge shouldn’t happen with my case,” Vidal, a member of Make the Road New York who is studying to be a medical assistant and supports his family, told the Chronicle. “It wasn’t fair for other people that went through the same thing that I did. All my life, I’ve been here.”

Vidal was educated in the United States. “I don’t see myself going somewhere except New York,” he said.

The plaintiff applied for his permit in November 2014, the month that Obama announced his expansion of the programs.

“I’m hoping that the more people that were affected through the same thing that I was will come forward and give their case,” he added. Despite the blow to the president’s expansion of the programs, Vidal is still eligible for two-year authorization under the original version of the program, which was not struck down in court, Reuters said.

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) is hoping that the lawsuit is successful.

“This is a very smart move on Martin Vidal’s part to present this lawsuit,” Peralta said. “So, we’ll be rooting for him.”

If they win in court, according to the senator, “the country will kind of be split until the Supreme Court actually takes a decisive action on it. That’s what could happen here.”

Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) is also a supporter.

“A preliminary injunction in Texas should not ripple throughout the country derailing the lives of people who, through no fault of their own, have had their DAPA and DACA applications frozen,” Moya said in a prepared statement.

No Queens officials could immediately be found to speak against the programs.

The de Blasio administration and CUNY announced the launch of the ActionNYC DACA Educaton Initiative last Friday, a program that offers classes to immigrants to help them fulfill the educational requirement of the deferred action initiative.

“New York City is home to nearly half a million undocumented immigrants. They are our neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family,” de Blasio said in a prepared statement. “Our new education initiative will provide immigrants with an invaluable opportunity to obtain the sense of security needed to transform their lives.”

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