Diaspora News

Future is bleak for Dreamers unless power changes in US Congress

By Abner Galino

Image © Campus Safety Magazine

THE future is bleak for the recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals under the administration of President Donald Trump, according to immigrant rights advocates.

It’s highly unlikely that Congress is going to pass any relief to benefit young people who make a huge contribution to the country they call home,” said America’s Voice in Washington D.C. Director Frank Sharry during a national press call last week.

Sharry also said that it has been obvious from the start that the Trump administration is engaged in “war on immigrants,” adding that it has been working to “slash immigration by 50%, turbocharge deportations and construct a border wall as wasteful as it is insulting.”

Trump arbitrarily ended DACA by issuing a presidential decree.

Sharry said that a change of power in Congress after the November elections, appears to be the best chance for the Dreamers.

Our best hope is that litigation will allow Dreamers to keep their status until hopefully we get a new Congress (in November’s elections).”

Dreamers and supporters mass up at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles during a protest rally last September. Photo © Abner Galino

The national press call was also participated in by National Immigration Law Center (NILC) lawyer Joshua Rosenthal, Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) Deputy Director Sally Kinoshita and California Labor Federation (CLF) field coordinator for southern California Hector Saldivar.

The ILRC’s Ready California hosted the event for ethnic media last March 13 during which Rosenthal agreed with Sharry and stressed that the “courts are only able to go so far.”

According to him, Congress and the states can provide better protection to immigrants.

Kinoshita cited several state measures that provide protection against federal efforts to harm immigrant communities, among them: SB 54, AB 103 and AB 540.

These measures restrict the ability of local law enforcement to cooperate with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement); require the state attorney general to inspect detention facilities operated under contract with the federal government; and require judicial warrants in advance of detentions.

These laws help to make clear that California is much safer for immigrants,” Kinoshita said.

Kinoshita also noted that the state has allocated USD45 million for immigration education, outreach and legal services.

Saldivar, who is himself a DACA recipient, narrated his family’s painful experience when his mother was recently denied re-entry into the country. At the same time, he also praised AB 540 for its role in curtailing ICE’s ability to enter work places at will without a judicial warrant.

Abner Galino
The author is a poet and a writer. He was a cultural worker before he became a reporter for Tinig ng Masa and Malaya Midday Edition during the Marcos regime. He later became a reporter of People's Tonight shortly after 1986 EDSA Revolution. He went on to become its Chief of Reporters, City Editor and News Editor. He retired after 15 years in the Journal Group of Publications. He now writes for Weekend Balita and the US Asian Post (USAP), weekly Filipino-American newspapers based in Los Angeles, California.

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