Given the ongoing changes to U.S. policy and the rhetoric surrounding immigrants, people in San Diego must be fully aware and up to date as to what is being done. Changes to certain programs can affect many people and those who could be in jeopardy should understand how. The administration of President Donald J. Trump canceled a program that was created under the prior administration of President Barack Obama, but was never put into action. This program was designed to shield parents of a child who is a citizen at birth from being deported.

The memo, known as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), was revoked by the administration. People who were in the U.S. illegally, but had a child while in the U.S. or a child who was a legal resident, were to be safe from facing deportation. They would also have been allowed to work through work permits that could be renewed. This program never went into action as it was blocked by lawsuits and considered “backdoor amnesty.”

Although DAPA was canceled, a separate program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has not. This program is to protect young immigrants from being deported. It was put in place in 2012 and shielded approximately 787,000 of those in this category. The number of immigrants who have been placed under arrest since President Trump took office has risen, but deportations are not as high as the number of people entering the U.S. via Mexico has reduced. The young immigrants, also called “Dreamers,” have not been under scrutiny.

People who are justifiably worried about how the new policies and changes to old policies will affect them might not know what to do if they fall into any of these categories. It is essential that those who are in the U.S. under different circumstances understand their rights and protect themselves. Discussing their case with a legal professional experienced with citizenship, immigrantion and all the issues surrounding it is the first step.

Source: nbcsandiego.com, “Trump Administration Cancels Program to Protect Immigrant Parents, Keeps ‘Dreamer’ Protections,” Alicia A. Caldwell, June 15, 2017