BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was to be an historic day for millions of undocumented workers. Tuesday, a presidential order would allow some to apply for a stay of deportation—but a ruling by a Texas judge has derailed those plans. Now tens of thousands of Marylanders are caught in the middle of a political battle.
Meghan McCorkell spoke with one father about his emotional fight.
Carlos Crespo is one of 55,000 Marylanders that could be eligible for the immigration reform program. Ten thousand are here in the Baltimore area. He’s been in the country for 14 years, but for Carlos Crespo, the fear of deportation is constant.
“Yes, we are still filled with fear,” he said.
Crespo’s five-year-old daughter is a US citizen but he and his wife are not. Under the president’s immigration reform plan, he’d be able to apply for a work permit.
“I think the day that I have a work permit, it will feel like winning the lottery,” he said.
But Tuesday, a federal judge blocked that plan, ruling that a lawsuit filed by 26 states should go forward. The judge says President Barack Obama overstepped his bounds by using his executive authority to shield as many as five million undocumented adults and children for deportation.
The president has promised an appeal.
“We should not be tearing some mom away from her child when the child has been born here and that mom has been living here for the past 10 years, minding her own business,” he said.
Officials at Casa de Maryland say they are confident the White House will win the fight in court, but Elizabeth Alex says it’s been an emotional day for those hoping to apply.
“To see their hopes go up and then get dashed again…it’s a process,” Alex said.
As for Crespo, he hopes the judge rethinks the ruling.
“What I ask the judge is for him to touch his heart and think about the families that do qualify for this and to think that we can work together to build this nation up,” he said.
So that he and his family can stay here—together.
Administration officials say the immigration case could go all the way to the Supreme Court.
The president’s immigration program could cost more than $400 million to implement.