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Federal court ruling impacts immigrants in Roaring Fork Valley

Marci Krivonen

Many immigrants in the Roaring Fork Valley are impacted by a court battle being waged at the federal level. A ruling from a Texas judge this week forced the Obama administration to halt executive actions on immigration. They would have provided legal protection and work permits.

At the Law Office of Jennifer Smith in Glenwood Springs, staff was preparing documents for clients, so they could begin submitting requests to the government starting Wednesday. That activity has stopped.

Attorney Jennifer Smith says sharing personal information was hard for clients applying for the benefits. She fears this delay will keep some from applying altogether.

"There is some concern that this may turn those parents away from applying for the program, that if it loses momentum and loses interest and if there’s more issues involved, or a perceived sense of more risk, they’re going to be less likely to apply for it."

The two programs affected by the Texas judge’s ruling are the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents and an expansion to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The postponement is indefinite. It’s meant to give a coalition of 26 states more time to form a legal case against the president’s actions, which were expected to protect 4 million people in the U.S. from being deported.

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