Anyone with a heart can’t help by feel really concerned for the plight of Dreamers right now. Since DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was first enacted by President Obama in 2012, we have spent hundreds of hours helping Dreamers obtain work authorization and become the contributing members of society that they yearn to be.
But ever since President Trump decided to play brinkmanship with the lives of these young adults, we find ourselves fielding calls from increasingly distressed clients, who just want to know what to expect and what to do. Here is what we say:
Obviously I don’t have a crystal ball and cannot predict the future. But I do NOT believe that Dreamers will be hung out to dry. I refuse to believe it, because I still believe in the America I first immigrated to so many years ago. That is an America that welcomes immigrants, although that may be hard to see or believe in right now.
Stay squeaky clean
In the meanwhile, until things shake out and the path to legalization is clear, stay out of trouble. Any trouble.
Do not drink and drive.
Do not attend college parties where there is underage drinking.
Do not smoke pot unless you happen to live in a state where marijuana is legal.
Do not do anything that might even remotely bring you to the attention of the authorities.
Time was when you could rely on DACA status to be treated like everyone else, and potentially get a free pass on less serious charges. No more. Nowadays, even the lightest brush with the law can have life-altering consequences. I know it seems unfair, and it is, but right now, Dreamers need to be be model citizens and better than their peers.
Don’t hesitate to get help
If misfortune strikes and you should fall into the hands of ICE, call us. Immediately. Having a tenacious advocate on your side can make the all the difference in the world.