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Immigrants, others confused over Trump administration’s mixed statements on deportation relief

By in Press Enterprise on June 17, 2017

By Alejandra Molina

A Trump administration announcement that officials hadn’t yet made up their minds about an Obama-era program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation caused confusion Friday, June 16.

Just a day earlier, the Department of Homeland Security said the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, would remain in effect.

The program has protected more than 780,000 young immigrants from deportation.

“The only certainty in Trump’s America is uncertainty – and no memoranda changes that,” Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union, said Friday.

“They’re trying to distract us with their back-and-forth on DACA as their mass deportation machine proceeds full speed ahead,” she said.

Anti-illegal immigration advocates have urged Trump to disband the program.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates stopping illegal immigration, said in a statement Friday that DACA is “an illegal executive overreach.”

Immigrant rights activists have urged others to remain vigilant as immigration arrests increased by nearly 40 percent in early 2017. Agents, emboldened by President Donald Trump’s pledge to build a border wall and deport criminals, detained more than 40,000 people suspected of being in the country illegally.

Numbers released by Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan in May offered a glimpse of how Trump is carrying through on his campaign promises to make immigration enforcement a top priority.

Overall, 41,300 people were arrested for deportation. Nearly 11,000 had no criminal conviction, more than double the number of immigrants without criminal convictions arrested during a comparable period last year.

Even DACA immigrants have found themselves at risk of deportation. One example is Jessica Colotl, whose deferred action status was recently revoked because she admitted guilt in 2011 to a felony charge of making a false statement to a law enforcement officer during a 2010 traffic stop. Her protection […]    

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