Here’s what ‘Dreamers’ need to know By Abner Galino

Friday, September 15th, 2017. Filed under: Asian News Local News News Philippine News U.S. News
An unidentified DREAMers supporter construct a handmade sign while protestors mass up at the MacArthur Park on Sunday (September 10).

An unidentified DREAMers supporter construct a handmade sign while protestors mass up at the MacArthur Park on Sunday (September 10).

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will still process new Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications if they were submitted by September 5, which was the day when the Trump administration announced that it will rescind the Executive Order implemented by President Barack Obama during his term.

The DHS will also renew DACA for eligible current recipients if their permits expire between September 5 and March 5, provided they submit their applications by October 5.

DACA recipients, better known as the Dreamers, would remain protected from deportation and could still legally work until their respective DACA approvals expire naturally.

“And then the general recommendation for everyone is to get legal consultation to understand your legal options. So it could be that someone who has DACA is eligible for another immigration benefit and they don’t know it. Or, they do know it but they’ve been kind of putting off the application process because they have DACA,” explained Allison Davenport, staff attorney at Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), during a teleconference hosted by New America Media (NAM) and Ready California.

There are 10,000 young Filipino immigrants who are enrolled in DACA which was implemented in 2012. These undocumented immigrants were brought to the United States as children.

Since DACA was started in 2012, there were 787,580 have been approved for the program, which not only protected them from deportation but as well as to allowed them to work legally.

Most of these so-called dreamers are not older than 30 years old and mostly came from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Also, during the same teleconference Ignacia Rodriguez, immigration policy advocate at the National Immigration Law Center, announced that their organization and allies are going to bring the Trump administration to the court.

“If the government is changing a policy there must be good reason for doing so,” Rodriguez argued.

Rodriguez contends that the decision to rescind DACA violates federal law, particularly the Administrative Procedures Act, which holds that when a political administration reverses a reliant and well-established policy it should be able to show that the decision is based sound rationale.

The federal law forbids arbitrary and capricious actions by the federal agencies that could result in abrupt changes or directions.

Rodriguez said the Trump administration not only failed to put forth a satisfactory justification in its decision to rescind DACA, but also erroneously claimed that it is in conflict with the immigration law.

The suit, Rodriguez added, would also invoke the equal protection clause provided for in the Constitution which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or nationality.

Rodriguez also disclosed that in another lawsuit filed by 16 states before a New York federal court, it is being argued that the rights due process of DACA recipients were violated when the federal government failed to protect the personal information that they provided when they applied for the program.

Another argument raised in the lawsuit was the alleged discriminatory reasons that motivated Trump’s action. The lawyers noted that majority of Dreamers are of Mexican origin and pointed out the many inflammatory statements that Trump has made about them, including the one when he attacked a federal judge of Mexican descent.

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