The Venezuelans left in limbo by new US immigration plan
Juan Carlos Zarubia, a Venezuelan national who is at the center of the government’s new immigration plan, is escorted to a police car after his detention by Customs and Border Protection in New York July 8, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
AUGUSTA, Maine (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s new immigration plan for Venezuelans leaving the United States will likely be a welcome reprieve for some who face possible deportation, many of whom live in New York City.
Former President Barack Obama signed an executive order in August that allowed immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children to stay in the country for five years and work without fear of deportation. It also made permanent Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that shields those who entered the country illegally as children from deportation.
Obama’s plan sparked immediate controversy among some, who argued that the former president should have waited for Congress to enact a similar permanent protection, known as DACA II. The Republican-controlled Congress has approved DACA with only one hitch, preventing it from going into effect until next year.
But the Obama administration insists that its plan is the only way to allow such immigrants to stay because Congress could not pass a law that would have prevented illegal border crossings and, thus, the potential for thousands of cases of unlawful entry.
“We’ve found that this executive order was critical,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Jamesah B. Duke said.
“We recognize that this is not a perfect solution, and we will continue to work on a legislative solution in the hope that we can get to a legislative solution that gives the certainty that there is a path forward for our neighbors and for our country.”
Many of the Venezuelans affected by the new order, who are already registered