Allison Brady is just one of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as children, who have managed to find legal work thanks to President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program.
Brady’s parents brought her to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when she was just 10 years old, living in New York City for the next 20 years. In 2012, she was granted the opportunity to seek legal employment in the United States under DACA. In October 2016, Brady received her second temporary employment authorization card, which allowed her to seek employment and receive a two-year relief period against deportation.
But as President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office this month, more than 740,000 other “Dreamers” face uncertainty over their immigrations status, with Trump pledging to repeal Obama’s immigration executive actions.
Brady, a math teacher in New York City’s public schools, is just one of many possible casualties gripped with fear over what’s to come. And she has good reason to be worried. With a Republican-controlled White House, Congress, and Senate, the chances of the GOP reversing President Obama’s immigration policies are high. Not surprisingly, this has sent Democrats and immigration advocates scrambling to protect the future of undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children.
But more worrying is the fact that the federal government has the personal information of all immigrants (and their families) enrolled in DACA, making them an easy target should Trump push through with his promise to mass deport all undocumented immigrants in the country.
Angela Fernandez, executive director of the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, a non-profit that has helped hundreds of Dreamers get temporary work permits, is prompting new applicants to avoid enrolling in DACA.
“If any new applicants are coming in now to apply for DACA, we tell them not to. We don’t want the government to have their information,” she said.
Trump has taken a hard line stance on undocumented immigrants on the campaign trail, promising that he would end DACA and deport enrolled Dreamers, along with more than 11 million undocumented immigrants. But as President-elect, he seems to be softening his tone, saying in an interview with Time Magazine that he would “work something out” for DACA beneficiaries.
Trump, named Person of the Year by Time Magazine, said, “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here.”
“Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen. We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” he added.
In response, members of Congress have crossed party lines to come up with a way to replace Obama’s executive order with a bipartisan bill. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Richard Dublin (D-Illinois) have taken the lead with the “Bridge Act,” which, if passed into law, would offer a “provisional protected presence” for law-abiding Dreamers, allowing them to seek employment and receive protection from deportation for 3 years.
If you or a loved one has concerns about immigration policy under a Trump administration, get a comprehensive explanation of these potential changes from the legal team of the Lyttle Law Firm. Contact our offices today at (512) 215.5225 to speak with an immigration law attorney.