Wilmer Valderrama Tells Immigrants to Keep Calm & Prepare for Deportation Relief

Wilmer Valderrama Tells Immigrants to Keep Calm & Prepare for Deportation Relief
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News that a federal judge temporarily blocked President Obama’s executive action on immigration has some feeling legally frazzled. However, Wilmer Valderrama, an outspoken advocate for immigration reform, believes the injunction to be a minor setback. He encourages undocumented immigrants to stay hopeful and proactive.

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“This was done for us, and we don’t want it to go away,” Valderrama, 35,  said during a Google Hangout hosted by Voto Latino, Mi Familia Vota and iAmerica on Feb. 18. 

“The more [people] that we can sign up from the moment it’s available, the harder it is going to be for anyone to reverse it,” he said.

Born in Miami, Valderrama moved to Venezuela with his family at the age of three. Ten years later, his family moved to Los Angeles, and none of them spoke English. The actor sympathizes with many immigrants because of his own childhood experience.

While this injunction may feel like a setback, immigrant advocates like Steve Choi, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, call it a “bump in the road." Choi believes the courts will eventually approve the president’s executive action.

"This is just a speed bump," Choi said in an interview with NPR. "This is a delay. It gives you more time to get your documents and get ready.”

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In the meantime, both Valderrama and Choi urge potential applicants to gather all necessary documents in preparation for the new deportation relief programs promised in Obama's executive action.