Trump Caves into anti-immigrant sentiment and ends DACA

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Raul Ray
Special to El Observador


President Donald Trump despite all his rhetoric about how much he loves Dreamers and that they don’t have to worry about their future just how hypocritical he is by bowing down to the 10 conservative state attorney generals who threatened to sue the federal government if he didn’t taken action to end DACA by September 5, 2017.  Trump announced his decision through a memo entitled “Memorandum on Rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), issued by Elaine C. Duke, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Acting with a six-month delay intended to allow Congress to act.   The highly successful and beneficial DACA program was created by the Obama Administration in 2012 and provided protection to hundreds of thousands of people who entered the United States illegally as children.

DACA holders have done everything that was asked of them to do in order to obtain their DACA status. Now they are left to ponder what is going to happen to them in the future and whether they will be deported from the United States  This is a real sad commentary on the state of immigration in the US. 

Trump’s decision effectively passes the ball back to Congress to try to quickly pass federal legislation that would allow Dreamers to remain in the United States legally.  However, this is going to take some sincere and bipartisan cooperation to make this a reality especially given the fact that Congress has failed to pass various versions of Dream Act first introduce by Representative Luis Gutiérrez, a  Democrat from Illinois on April 25, 2001.

Fortunately, there is great support for Dreamers and the immigrant community throughout the country from the business community to religious leaders and organizations serving immigrant communities.  I am heartened, encouraged, and energized by the great resolve of everyone who remains committed to fighting and litigating to protect the rights of all immigrants. 

15 States file lawsuit to stop Trump from ending DACA

Lawyers for 15 states, led by New York and Washington, filed suit in New York Federal District Court on Wednesday to stop Trump from ending DACA arguing that federal authorities have “backtracked” on their promise to protect young immigrants who came forward and registered with the government and that state economies will be hurt if DACA residents lose their status.

According to Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General for New York, “It’s clear that President Trump’s DACA repeal would cause huge economic harm to New York—and that’s it’s driven by President Trump’s personal anti-Mexican bias,”

He was joined by state attorneys from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

The attorneys generals also argue in their lawsuit that the government has not guaranteed DACA recipients that their application information will not be used “for purposes of immigration enforcement, including identifying, apprehending, detaining, or deporting non-citizens.” 

Who’s still eligible to apply for renewal of DACA status?

The Department of Homeland Security, (DHS), announce that DACA recipients whose DACA status will expire between now and March 5, 2018 have only a limited window period to file their applications to renew their DACA status and obtain work permit.  This window period is between September 5, 2017 and October 5, 2017.  After that, it will not be possible to renew DACA status.

DHS has also made it very clear in their memo that the government will no longer accept first time applications for DACA status nor accept applications for DACA related travel documents.

DACA recipients who are still eligible to apply to renew their DACA status should act quickly to do so. Time is ticking and the deadline date is now less than 30 days.  If DACA recipients who have any concerns about their eligibility to renew their DACA status or what their options might be for the future,  are advised to consult with an experienced immigration attorney or contact one of the many non-profit agencies in the bay area serving immigrant communities. 

What’s next for DACA Recipients unable to renew their DACA Status?

DACA recipients are supposedly viewed by the Trump Administration as low priority and shouldn’t have to worry about being placed into removal proceedings.  However, Dreamers need to proceed with caution because the Trump Administration simply can’t be trusted.

Even if Trump decides to commence deportation proceedings against Dreamers, it will take several years before anyone is forced to leave the United States because of the huge backlogged of deportation cases pending in immigration court across the country.  And hopefully long before that, Congress would have gotten their act together to pass federal legislation granting legal status to not just Dreamers but to all undocumented immigrants who have been law-abiding, productive and contributing members of their communities. 

We will continue to keep you apprised on the very latest news about DACA and other immigration matters around the country.

The Law Offices of Raul Ray has been serving immigrant communities for over 20 years and offers free phone consultations for clients.  (408) 279-5793.