BY MARIO CONDE
The future of millions of immigrants in the United States is in danger as the White House announced the elimination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
On Tuesday, September 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in a press conference the elimination of DACA, an Obama era policy that allows some individuals who entered the country illegally as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
The Government of Mexico expressed its “deep regret” at this decision and announced a series of measures to support DACA recipients. Mexico Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said that the Mexican President has instructed the Secretariat of Labor and Social Security to activate their programs to provide jobs to dreamers and medical insurance. In addition, Videgaray said Education Department will work Dreamers on procedures for both re-validation and incorporation into Mexican educational institutions.
Luis Benjamin Lara Escobedo, Consul for Protection and Legal Affairs at the Mexican Consulate in Calexico said that the consulates will reinforce their protection to Mexican living in the U.S. by providing more legal protection, information, and more town hall meetings to inform the public about what is happening in terms of immigration.
“We respect the decision of the U.S. government and we recognize their autonomy but we are concerned about 620 thousand people could be deported and separated from the country they grew up in,” Lara said.
President Donald Trump stated that in the best interests of our country, the Department of Homeland Security will begin an orderly transition and winddown of DACA. While new applications for work permits will not be accepted, all existing work permits will be honored until their date of expiration up to two full years. Applications already in the pipeline will be processed, as will renewal applications for those facing near term expiration. Permits will not begin to expire for another six months and will remain active for up to 24 months.
“Congress now has the opportunity to advance responsible immigration reform that puts American jobs and American security first. We are facing the symptom of a larger problem, illegal immigration, along with the many other chronic immigration problems Washington has left unsolved,” President Trump said. “We must reform our green card system, which now favors low-skilled immigration and puts immense strain on U.S. taxpayers. We must base future immigration on merit – we want those coming into the country to be able to support themselves financially, to contribute to our economy, and to love our country and the values it stands for. Under a merit-based system, citizens will enjoy higher employment, rising wages, and a stronger middle class.”
Lara asked DACA recipients to maintain calm and that any abuse or any attempt of deportation to talk to their consulate so they can evaluate the possibility to pay lawyers or refer them to agencies that provide free legal counsel.
“The advice is that dreamers should contact their consulate and if the arrest was not in accordance with the rule of law we can provide them with legal advice before there are difficult consequences that cannot be solved,” Lara said.
For more information, the Mexican Consulate in Calexico can be reached at (760) 3573863 or via e-mail at email@example.com. For emergencies only, the consulate advises calling (760) 455-2140.