Fearing Trump crackdown, “dreamers” advised to end travel
Immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, but were protected from deportation by President Barrack Obama, are being warned by some advocates to make sure they are not traveling abroad when Donald Trump is sworn in as president on Jan. 20.
Some advocates, lawyers and universities are concerned that Trump might immediately rescind an Obama program that had allowed these young immigrants to work and travel for humanitarian, educational or employment purposes.
That could lead, they fear, to some people traveling abroad being barred from re-entering the U.S.
“We are recommending all travel be completed by or before Jan. 20 in the event laws or procedures experience a drastic change,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. “We wouldn’t want to expose them to an uncertain situation should they not be allowed back to the U.S.”
Trump made illegal immigration the cornerstone of his campaign, promising to build a wall along the Mexican border and deport millions of people living in the country illegally.
His actual plans, though, have yet to be revealed. Recently, he has said he wants to focus on people who have committed crimes.
“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump 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.”
Trump can rescind the promised protection right away through an “operational memo” because Obama implemented it through one, said William Stock, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
He said the program’s participants should not consider traveling overseas unless they absolutely need to.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Anthony Bucci said his agency “cannot speculate” when he was asked how long would it take for CBP officers to deny entry to the U.S. to program participants if Trump eliminated the protection.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services records said that as of Dec. 31, 2015, about 22,340 people in the DACA program were approved for the “parole” that allows them to travel outside the U.S.