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Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
August 23, 2015

'Unusual' Northwest Arkansas case spotlights immigration system in flux
By Dan Holtmeyer

Elizabeth Young, an associate law professor at the University of Arkansas who directs the school's immigration law clinic, compared deferred action to a kind of probation for immigrants who come forward. Many eligible people likely haven't applied because the status could be taken away at any time because of national politics or other factors, she said. That risk became real for Erick Rodriguez on the evening of March 29, 2014, when he ran a red light in Johnson. The conviction came after a Johnson police police officer saw the violation and stopped the car, according to an incident report. The officer arrested Erick Rodriguez for driving without a license, and an investigator looking in his wallet found the fake Social Security card. The problem was Erick Rodriguez was approved for deferred action but was in the middle of getting the documents that follow. His genuine Social Security card hadn't yet arrived in the mail, and he had been planning on getting his license that day, said K. Drew Devenport, a Springdale immigration attorney representing him. "It's almost a comedy of errors -- timing could not have been worse for him," Devenport said. An immigrant losing deferred action's protection after receiving it is "extremely unusual," Devenport added. Neither ICE nor U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services tracks how often deferred action has been revoked, a spokesmen said. Sue Long, co-director of Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, said she hadn't heard of a situation like Erick Rodgriguez's. The nonpartisan research center compiles troves of immigration data each month.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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