Last month, a man named Elionardo Juarez-Escobar, who is originally from Honduras, sparked a national debate on immigration policy. In April 2014, Juarez-Escobar was charged with driving drunk in Beaver County, PA. Police released him but in July, he was arrested again because he had already been deported from the United States back in 2005.
In early December, he pled guilty to this charge and was held in custody. On December 16th 2014, Judge Arthur J. Schwab of the U.S. District Court issued a ruling stating that President Obama created a violation of the law due to his executive order in regards to delaying alien deportation. As a result, Judge Schwab gave Juarez-Escobar the option to remove his guilty plea or proceed forward with sentencing. He opted for the latter and will receive his sentencing of time served later this month.
Once sentenced, Juarez-Escobar will be released to U.S. Immigration and Customs, which will likely trigger the deportation process. His lawyer has stated that he can challenge the proceedings on the grounds that his mother and brother are legally in the United States and he earns money to send to his family in Honduras.
The Justice Department maintains that Obama’s executive order has no significance on criminal cases like Juarez-Escobar’s. Even still, prosecutors have not appealed the judge’s ruling. In the event that this happens, the case will likely be delayed and Juarez-Escobar’s lawyer will petition for his release on bond.
What Does the Obama Executive Order Do?
Obama’s executive order offers relief to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are undocumented and have lived in the United States for at least 5 years. This means that they will no longer have to live in constant fear of deportation. They would also be allowed to obtain work permits, giving them the right to work legally in the United States.
It also expands the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which started in 2012. This program allows immigrants under 30 who came to the United States as children to file for deportation deferral. Under this new legislation, immigrants over 30 and those who have arrived more recently qualify as well.
Obama’s executive action includes facilitating visas for immigrants who plan on pursuing degrees in technology, science, math and engineering. In addition, it modifies federal detention processes for immigrants and increases resources in efforts to heighten border security.
Are you in need of immigration advice or want more information on President Obama’s Executive Action and the expansion of the DACA program? If so, please contact the Lyttle Law Firm in Austin Texas by calling (512) 215-5225.