Maryland readers know that President Trump has made deporting illegal immigrants a top priority on his agenda. However, immigration advocates are concerned that his policies are eroding the protections of the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which was enacted by the Obama administration in 2012.
DACA lets certain young adults who were brought into the United States illegally as minors remain in the country and file for work permits, but some people in the program have recently been arrested and threatened with deportation. For example, a 24-year-old Mexican man spent more than six weeks in a Washington state immigration detention center even though he was supposedly protected by DACA. The man, who was brought into the country at age 7, was taken into custody on Feb. 10 when Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents attempted to arrest his father. He was released on March 29, but immigration officials have begun deportation proceedings, claiming he admitted to gang activity. He denies the allegations.
On April 2, ICE agents arrested another DACA participant in Oregon over a drunk driving charge. The man, who has been in the U.S. since the age of 5, had attended all hearings and meetings required by the court. He is currently on bond awaiting deportation.
The Trump administration's new policies are complex. Individuals facing immigration detention or deportation proceedings may benefit by speaking to an immigration attorney about their situation. An attorney could help navigate the changing immigration landscape and help defend an immigrant against deportation or other adverse federal government action.
Source: Seattle Times, "Immigrant Daniel Ramirez Medina 'hopeful for future' of Dreamers as he's freed from Tacoma detention", Gene Johnson, Associated Press, March 30, 2017