For families in North Texas separated due to deportation, a 100-day hiatus that President Biden introduces shortly after he takes office means 100 days to breathe.
After Eric Garza was pulled over for a traffic violation, his fiancé and three children, all US citizens, feared the worst.
“I was really sad because he’s my father and I thought I would never see him again,” said 12-year-old Erik Garza.
Garza lived in the United States for more than a decade.
His lawyer Fernando Dubove said cases like his are the ones the Department of Homeland Security is likely to put on hold.
The DHS announced the move and released a statement:
“Starting January 22, 2021, DHS will suspend moves for 100 days for certain non-citizens whose deportation has been ordered to ensure we have a fair and effective system of immigration enforcement based on protecting national security, border security and public security. ”
It’s just a better distribution of the DHS’s limited resources, ”Dubove said.
Dubove said it was a return to the prosecution’s discretion in the Obama era as the department prioritizes deportation of criminals.
“The DHS has limited resources. They have so many officials, so many immigration judges, so many prosecutors, and they have to focus these people’s attention and time on really important cases. Again, cases involving drug traffickers, terrorists, and people with violent criminals stories are involved, ”said Dubove.
While delay alone is unlikely to change the outcome of Garza’s case, Dubove hopes Congress has time to pass longer-term reform that could.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton responded to the move Thursday night, calling for an illegal deportation hiatus. He said this would “cause serious and irreparable damage to the state of Texas and its citizens.”
Paxton threatened the state would sue if it wasn’t lifted immediately.
The moratorium is due to come into force on Friday.
This does not apply to persons who came to the United States after November 1, or who are suspected of terrorism, espionage, or who are believed to pose a threat to national security.