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Many immigrants await court ruling, seek to come 'out of the shadows
Families hope to benefit from deferred deportations policy
Jama Ibrahim, an immigration attorney, works at his Gainesville office Friday. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Hundreds of people have visited Jama Ibrahim’s offices in Gainesville and Atlanta for help that has been on hold for more than a year.

The people approaching the attorney of Ibrahim & Rao were seeking a temporary halt of deportation under the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, announced in November 2014.

The actions are the center of Supreme Court arguments last week in the case of United States v. Texas, a case brought by a coalition of states against the executive action.

Ibrahim said the deferred action for parents would not confer legal status but would “get them out of the shadows” and give them employment authorization documents.

“In my opinion, the state would have gained, because all these people would now be able to not only legitimately work but pay and file taxes normally,” Ibrahim said.

In September, attorney Arturo Corso filed a civil action against Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch regarding the 287(g) immigration hold policy, which has been active in Hall County since 2007.

Corso said those in immigration proceedings face a legal “dead zone” where there is no judicial review.

Hall County officials said they work to minimize the pre-adjudication incarceration times as a benefit to the taxpayers.

Couch was unable to comment due to the pending litigation, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes said Friday.

One Northeast Georgia man, who agreed to speak with The Times on the condition of anonymity, said he would seek deferred action under DAPA action to help his three children.

“I’m the only one supporting the family, paying the rent and bills,” he said.

The man has been pulled over and cited for driving without a license, which led him to pay others to drive him.

The work permit and deferred action, he said, would allow him to “help my family better.”

“I could drive without fear,” he said.

Though DAPA has been halted under an injunction, Ibrahim said some clients have experienced a similar form of deferred deportation.

Ibrahim said one client was arrested and detained for a deportation order, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement were unable to deport him for an undisclosed reason.

Months later, Ibrahim’s client was released and placed on an order of supervision, meaning he must periodically meet with an officer.

“Incidental to the order of supervision because the government doesn’t want this guy to be in the streets homeless, they have to give him a work permit,” Ibrahim said.

In November 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a memo on apprehension, detention and removal and setting priorities.

Priority 1 is described as “threats to national security, border security and public safety” as undocumented people convicted of gang activity, terrorism and those attempting to unlawfully enter the country.

“The removal of these aliens must be prioritized unless they qualify for asylum or another form of relief under our laws,” according to the memo.

Priority 2 includes those convicted of a “significant misdemeanor” like that of domestic violence, sexual abuse or drug distribution.

Ibrahim said he believes the Supreme Court’s decision will ultimately have a greater effect on the families.

“They leave their kids behind and their families behind, and a lot of these men are the sole providers for the families. Then what happens? You’re actually forcing the kids to go on public assistance,” he said.

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