"I believe we will prevail," said U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about implementing the deferred action programs temporarily blocked due to a court order.

During an address at Rice University in Houston, Johnson said the Obama administration "will continue to fight" and defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs. The two deferred action programs would provide approximately 4.9 million more undocumented immigrants a temporary, but renewable, three-year stay in the U.S. pending on requirements set by the DHS. Johnson noted 670,000 undocumented immigrants have successfully applied for DACA, under its 2012 guidelines, which included passing a background check.

"I believe we will prevail, as deferred action is a tool that has been in use by Republican and Democratic administrations for decades," said Johnson. "To those in Congress who say we do not have the authority to issue deferred action without a change in law, I say change the law; don't just be a naysayer."

Johnson acknowledged the Pew Research Center's poll that found 72 percent of Americans stating undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. should have a pathway to legal status.

Johnson added, "From the perspective of homeland security and law enforcement, we should encourage people who have lived here for years, and are not going anywhere, to come out of the shadows and get on the books. We want to know who these people are, and we want to encourage them to report crime. We want these people to work on, not off, the books, and pay taxes."

Johnson identified 11.3 million undocumented immigrants are in the U.S. and more than half have been living in the country for over 10 years. The DHS secretary said the undocumented immigrants "are not going away," nor are they going to "self-deport" themselves.

"No administration -- Democratic or Republican -- is going to deport this large a population of people. We simply do not have the resources to do that," continued Johnson.

Johnson, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), is working to enact the update guidelines of DACA and new DAPA programs. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas' Brownsville Division, however, placed a temporary injunction on Obama's deferred action programs after then-Texas Attorney General, now governor, Greg Abbott launched a lawsuit to block the programs in his state. Abbott has since received the support from 25 U.S. states.

In late May, Abbott said Obama's November 2014 immigration action was "unlawful" and overreached his executive power.

Must Read: Immigrant Rights Advocates Disappointed, Not Deterred by Appeals Court's DACA, DAPA Ruling  


For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: m.oleaga@latinpost.com.