This week, the Trump Administration summed up its policy on undocumented immigrants inside the United States as follows: “We are coming after you!” The immigration lawyers at Fong & Aquino LLP have a response: “What do we say to the four horsemen of deportation? Not today.”
At a Congressional hearing, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said “If you’re in this country illegally and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable. . . . You should look over your shoulder, and you need to be worried.”
As further evidence that the Administration seeks to make life more difficult for undocumented immigrants — even those who have lived in the country for many years and have children who are United States citizens, the Administration formally terminated the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (or DAPA). Although the program had been on hold due to a lawsuit, the Secretary of Homeland Security has rescinded the memorandum and will no longer seek its implementation.
What about folks whose deportation cases were placed on a hold because they had deep family ties to the United States? Those cases are being re-calendared, or in non-lawyer-speak, placed back on the Immigration Court’s already loaded active calendar.
The one small sunbeam in all this: Trump has decided to keep the DACA program in place. The “dreamers” who entered the United States as children, went to American schools, and continue to make positive contributions may continue to do so. However, the big caveat still remains in place: if the Trump administration changes its mind and decides it is more politically expedient to deport “dreamers”, it can do so with a flick of the pen.
If you are uncomfortable and worried, you should speak with qualified immigration attorneys about your circumstances. –ra