So-called “dreamers” — those who came to the United States illegally as children but were exempt from deportation through a Barack Obama executive order — have been warned to not to travel outside of the country when Donald Trump becomes president.
According to a report in the Associated Press, “some advocates, lawyers, and universities” are concerned the new chief executive will “immediately rescind” the DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — order.
“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.”
If you’re wondering how those here illegally can actually leave the country and return, the American Immigration Center notes that “[t]o travel abroad legally, a deferred action recipient must get an advance parole document,” a form I-131 Application for Travel Document.
During a recent Time magazine interview, Trump expressed sympathy for the 741,000 people in Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which started in 2012.
“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.”
Advocates are still being cautious.
Nancy Lopez-Ramirez, a 20-year-old student born in Mexico who is planning a trip there as part of a City College of New York class, said she is glad the group is returning by Jan. 15.
“My mom is like ‘I am concerned with you not coming back, I want you to be able to come back,'” she said.
City College, part of the City University of New York, is one of the institutions advising students in the DACA program to return before Inauguration Day. So is California State University, which told administrators to tell participants in the program “that if they are outside of the United States as of January 20, 2017, there is no assurance they will be allowed to return to the U.S.”
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.
City College Professor Tatyana Kleyn noted that interest in the school’s Mexico trip actually went up after the election: “It feels like a last chance,” she said.