CNMI lawmakers need to study further a U.S. District Court order blocking President Barrack Obama’s executive action on immigration reform.
For now, the court order will have a bigger effect on undocumented aliens in the mainland than in U.S. territories.
According to Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan), the decision could mean that the federal court “just wants to further iron out the legality in the process of immigration” or propose “a better way” of going about the immigration process.
The CNMI lawmaker said the court decision will have a bigger effect on the U.S. mainland, simply because of the sheer number of undocumented aliens.
The CNMI and Guam also have a number of undocumented migrants, but the number is nowhere near that of mainland workers.
Demapan, chairman of the House Committee on Federal and Foreign Affairs, said it might still be a “wait and see” situation on the effects of the court ruling, as far the CNMI is concerned.
A federal court in Texas issued the order Wednesday, which essentially blocks an executive action by Obama to defer the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants.
The court order also compels U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services to temporarily suspend immigration services, particularly for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.
The DAPA is seen to have an effect on illegal aliens in U.S. territories, including the CNMI, because many have children born in the territory.
DAPA is said to allow undocumented parents of lawful U.S citizens to defer deportation and seek job benefits.
The court hearing does not affect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, another immigration policy included in Obama’s executive action.
USCIS has already issued an advisory, saying that due to a federal court order, “USCIS will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA on Feb. 18 as originally planned.”
“The court’s temporary injunction, issued Feb. 16, does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request an initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA under the guidelines established in 2012,” the advisory further states.