It is with great difficulty that I write this blog after the election of November 8th. What we were told was good news for many Americans who felt left out of the economic recovery, is causing considerable anxiety in the immigration community. And rightly so.
Immediately after claiming victory, Trump reaffirmed his hardline stance on immigration, pledging to deport three million people who are in this country without legal authorization. Besides the fact that three million is an arbitrary number without statistical basis, the announcement sent a chilling message to many clients, and to the many who have received permission to stay here and work, a privilege provided under President Obama’s Executive Action DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
People have revealed to me that they are terrified, and I am saddened to share their fears. We are without knowledge, at this juncture, if people who benefited from DACA will soon be targets of the Trump administration or in the least, their permission to work will not be renewed.
Luckily, I am not the only immigration advocate who is alarmed and ready to take action. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is prepared to mobilize its 14,000 members to ensure that human dignity remains, and will always be an American value:
- For more than 70 years, AILA has worked with leaders from both parties to craft policies that promote a fair and just immigration system, one which reflects the values upon which our country was founded.
- AILA and its more than 14,000 members are prepared to stand against laws and policies that violate fundamental principles of fairness and due process, or that denigrate the important role that immigration has played in building our great nation.
- AILA and its members will continue to live our mission: to promote justice and advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy.
As a lawyer, I am usually the one with answers. Unfortunately, I do not know what the future has in store. What I am sure of, though, is that our voices will be heard.