US It was once easier to go unnoticed, but some DACA recipients from Europe and Canada say they are ready to join the immigration fight

00:26  08 april  2018
00:26  08 april  2018 Source:   pri.org

Five ways Trump is restricting immigration

  Five ways Trump is restricting immigration Despite having a Republican majority in Congress and setting clear goals on immigration, President Trump's attempts to revamp the country's immigration laws have stalled. But through the executive institutions in charge of immigration, Trump has changed how the government interacts with foreign citizens.

So while it was easier for me to go unnoticed and blend in, there’s too much at stake now,” says Bejko, whose DACA work permit expires in October. The Pew Research Center estimates that 5,200 DACA recipients are from Europe , making them an often overlooked group, considering that the

Most DACA recipients are from Mexico, but those who are not say it ’s important that they speak up. So while it was easier for me to go unnoticed and blend in, there’s too much at stake now,” says Bejko, whose DACA work permit expires in October.

A woman looks at the camera and smiles.: Leezia Dhalla of FWD.us spends her workdays on Capitol Hill, lobbying members of Congress to support immigration reform. She is a DACA recipient from Canada who grew up in Texas and now lives and works in Washington, DC. © Credit: Kenya Downs/PRI Leezia Dhalla of FWD.us spends her workdays on Capitol Hill, lobbying members of Congress to support immigration reform. She is a DACA recipient from Canada who grew up in Texas and now lives and works in Washington, DC.

Growing up in Michigan as an undocumented immigrant, Nejvi Bejko says few people outside of her inner circle knew about her status. She thinks that being white had a lot to do with it.

“No one’s really looking at me and thinking, ‘She should be deported,’ or all these hateful words that don’t necessarily apply to me because of what I look like,” says Bejko, who came to Sterling Heights, Michigan, from Albania at 9 years old with her parents and younger brother.

Flake: 'Plenty' of lawmakers want to work with Trump on DACA

  Flake: 'Plenty' of lawmakers want to work with Trump on DACA Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Sunday asserted that "plenty" of Republicans and Democrats are willing to work to find a long-term solution for "Dreamers" who benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, despite President Trump tweeting earlier in the day that he would no longer support such a deal. "There are plenty of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who stand ready to work with the administration on legislation to protect DACA kids who call America home. Let's do it," Flake tweeted.

Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who said Thursday that when the Senate starts its floor debate on immigration next week, he’s going to The good news for DACA recipients is that they are currently able to apply for a two-year renewal of This would be the easiest way to “extend” the program as it currently exists.

As Congress decides on a long-term solution for the program, some DACA recipients who are homeowners say they 're skeptical they 'll be able to stay in the country. " It made it 100 times easier ," he says . That's because DACA gives young immigrants permission to More… + Join the discussion.

She says her family didn’t hide her immigration status, but they hardly talked about it. In middle school, she began to realize that her life in the US was different from her peers’.

“You hide why you can’t drive or move away for college,” she says. “So, you become this antisocial person essentially because you have to.”

As an undocumented immigrant, Bejko couldn’t afford many of Michigan’s top schools; her undocumented status meant she wasn’t eligible for in-state tuition. Her only option was to stay in her small town and earn an associate's degree at a local community college. She eventually got an apprenticeship with a clothing company in Washington, DC.

Then in 2012, President Barack Obama used an executive action to create DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which temporarily protected some undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation. It allowed Bejko to obtain a driver’s license and a work permit. So she left her apprenticeship and went to Michigan State University — since 2013, the school has allow residents who went a Michigan high school to pay in-state tuition regardless of immigration status — to pursue a bachelor’s degree in apparel and textile design.

GOP lawmaker: Republicans 'would be well advised to get ready' for Dem wave in midterms

  GOP lawmaker: Republicans 'would be well advised to get ready' for Dem wave in midterms <p>Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Sunday he believes Republicans will face a difficult midterm election this year, but thinks the party is well prepared.</p>"I think there's going to be a very challenging election environment. Nobody's had a good off year election since 2002. So I think Republicans would be well advised to get ready," Cole said on MSNBC.

So the DACA recipients ’ battle is beginning again. In the coming days and weeks, protesters said , they will organize sit-ins to urge U.S. lawmakers to pass immigration legislation, hold “ It ’s sad, but we ’ re not going to stop fighting ,” Magos said . “With teeth and fingernails, we ’ re going to fight .”

But DACA recipients , known as "Dreamers," fear that, beyond losing their work permits and protections against deportation, they could be uniquely vulnerable to federal immigration authorities Trump in recent months vowed he would deal with the program "with heart" and said Dreamers could "rest easy ."

When President Donald Trump announced last September that his administration is ending DACA, Bejko decided to join the fight for immigration reform. She connected with an immigrant advocacy group and started talking with lawmakers and the media about her immigration status.

See the full DACA Diaries series.

“I understand what everyone is going through. So while it was easier for me to go unnoticed and blend in, there’s too much at stake now,” says Bejko, whose DACA work permit expires in October. In February, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision to block the Trump administration from ending DACA while a lawsuit moves forward. This means Bejko will be able to renew her status for now, but things could change again depending on the outcome of the lawsuit and whether Congress takes any action.

Just before the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, April 2, Trump posted on Twitter that “DACA is dead,” and blamed Democrats for inaction. He inaccurately proclaimed that “everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon.” In fact, DACA has many restrictions, including requirements that recipients have been in the US continuously since 2007 and arrived before age 16.

Koch groups urge Trump to compromise on a DACA deal

  Koch groups urge Trump to compromise on a DACA deal Political groups backed by conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch on Monday criticized President Trump's recent comment that "DACA is dead," saying the president needs to compromise on a deal that helps immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.&nbsp;The three groups - Freedom Partners, Americans for Prosperity and The LIBRE Initiative - put out statements on Monday urging Trump to reach a permanent deal that trades funding for his border wall for a "permanent solution" for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients.

Historically, it was easy enough to cross the US/Mexico border and work in the US — both Simply in order to qualify for the program, DACA recipients have to have entered before 2007 — meaning Kamasaki allows that you could say that until 1986, when the Immigration Reform and Control Act

Despite what your Democrat leaders say about “socialist Canada ”, what your Republicans are proposing to do about DACA recipients and immigration We are not going to negotiate a deal with the US. It is up to DACA recipients and illegals to decide on their own if they want to come to Canada .

Bejko says, as limited as the program is, DACA gave her the confidence to talk about her undocumented status publicly and to share her experiences with lawmakers. The Pew Research Center estimates that 5,200 DACA recipients are from Europe, making them an often overlooked group, considering that the majority of immigrants with DACA come from Mexico.

“It’s always very strange to be like, ‘No, I’m from Eastern Europe, and there’s others like me,’” she says. “[People] always just shake their heads and nod, but still look confused as to how I might be a DACA recipient.”

Leezia Dhalla feels the same way. She is from Canada and moved to Texas with her family when she was 6 years old. Although she knew her family migrated to the US for better economic opportunities, she first learned she was undocumented during her junior year of college. She turned 21 and received an order to appear in immigration court arrived in the mail. She is one of an estimated 750 Canadian DACA recipients, according to government figures.

Dhalla works at FWD.us, a Washington, DC-based immigrant advocacy group founded by leaders of technology companies, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The organization lobbies for immigration reform and access to education for immigrants. Dhalla says that as DACA faces an uncertain future, it’s important for immigrants like her to share their stories to counter perceptions of who is undocumented.

Trump calls on Congress to change 'ridiculous' immigration laws

  Trump calls on Congress to change 'ridiculous' immigration laws President Trump on Monday called the U.S. illegal immigration processing and deportation system "a whole big wasted procedure" in a pair of tweets calling on Congress to act. "As ridiculous as it sounds, the laws of our country do not easily allow us to send those crossing our Southern Border back to where they came from," Trump tweeted. As ridiculous as it sound"As ridiculous as it sounds, the laws of our country do not easily allow us to send those crossing our Southern Border back to where they came from," Trump tweeted.

Trump is also encouraging Congress to step in and pass an immigration overhaul before March – when his administration will stop processing DACA recipients ' two-year renewal applications. Ending DACA Has Not Gone Unnoticed .

It would create a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and some other DREAMers, in exchange for a billion border “trust fund” If Republicans had a unified immigration agenda, it would be much, much easier to strike a deal. So it ’s not going to be the bill that immigration hawks would desire.

“It’s a teaching moment to show people that Dreamers are from all around the world,” Dhalla says. “What matters is that we are here and want our immigration statuses to reflect how American we already feel.”

“Dreamers” is a term advocates use that takes its name from the DREAM Act, which would have given some undocumented people brought to the US as children a path to legal citizenship but failed to pass in the Senate in 2010.

“I wanted to go to law school, but I know nothing about the laws in Canada,” she says. “Without these [DACA] protections I will likely lose my job, my apartment and my ability to be a productive member of society.”

Jason Finkelman, an immigration attorney based in Austin, Texas, says that since Trump decided to end DACA, he has fielded dozens of calls from European and Canadian recipients worried about deportation or their personal information now being available to the government.

“It’s a very scary situation for anyone who may fear being deported to countries they hardly know, even if that country is just our neighbor to the north,” he says. “Some acknowledge that in their communities they perhaps aren’t being targeted by law enforcement as much as their Latino counterparts, but it doesn’t change the risks.”

Critics of immigration enforcement policies argue that they often result in racial profiling, regardless of someone’s immigration status. The Center for American Progress, a progressive policy institute, writes that agreements between the federal immigration agency and local law enforcement can exacerbate these issues. Black immigrants are deported and detained at rates more than three times their percentage of the immigrant population, because they are more likely to be profiled by police and often live in areas with higher police presence, according to 2016 report published by the New York University School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic and Black Alliance for Just Immigration. In contrast, immigrants from Europe have among the lowest levels of deportation.

Arizona Supreme Court rules Arizona colleges can't give in-state tuition to DACA recipients

  Arizona Supreme Court rules Arizona colleges can't give in-state tuition to DACA recipients The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are not eligible to receive in-state tuition rates at Arizona colleges. Justices on the Arizona Supreme Court agreed with the Arizona Court of Appeals ruling, which said Maricopa Community Colleges are not permitted under state and federal law to give DACA recipients in-state tuition, according to The Arizona Republic.According to the publication, more than 2,000 DACA recipients pay in-state rates at community colleges or state universities in Arizona.

And in exchange for allowing DACA recipients to get some sub-citizenship legal status, the White House wants a comprehensive immigration crackdown. Its written list of immigration “principles,” released Sunday night, doesn’t say anything about the citizenship question

Some DACA recipients might be eligible for cancellation of removal, which would shield them We know that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is not going to honor DACA ,” she told me. Then he vowed, “We are going to say in no uncertain terms that we aren’t going to accept it any longer.

Also:Black and Muslim, some African immigrants feel the brunt of Trump’s immigration plans

In 2016, the highest numbers of deportees were from Mexico and Central American countries, according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Dhalla says that, still, immigration policy isn’t solely a Latino issue. It's important for non-Latino immigrants, especially those who are targeted less, to challenge that narrative, she says. It also makes diversity within immigrant advocacy circles all the more important.

“Our conversations about immigration must represent the true makeup of who is here in this country,” Dhalla says. “So there’s a shared responsibility to allow those who are underrepresented to speak, as well as for those who are better represented to make space for us to.”

Only 32 immigrants were deported to Albania in 2016. Bejko says she understands how other activists may criticize her and other white immigrants who’ve spoken out only after immigration policies affected them. But she says it’s not always because they don’t care about others who have been deported.

“No matter what your background may be, living in the country forces to you to keep a low profile and not draw unnecessary attention to yourself,” she says. “I spent so long doing exactly that, for a while I didn’t realize that maybe being successful at it had nothing to do with me at all, but because others assumed I’m American based on how I look.”

Finally recognizing that privilege, she says, is also why also she came forward. Bejko now volunteers with Dhalla’s organization, FWD.us. The organization maintains a database of DACA recipients of diverse backgrounds who volunteer to share their experiences for policymakers in their home states and on Capitol Hill.

For DACA recipients, Trump’s tweetstorms can be panic-inducing

  For DACA recipients, Trump’s tweetstorms can be panic-inducing What if President Trump kept talking about you? There are the 280-character bursts that equate undocumented immigrants to criminals storming the border.&nbsp;“It’s just so volatile,” said Jin Park, a 22-year-old senior at Harvard University who was brought to the country as a child but now has legal status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program created by President Obama that Trump has sought to end. “In the beginning, I consistently went on Twitter and read everything that the president tweeted out. It weighed on me. What the president says matters.

Some amendments were hardline, designed to reduce levels of legal immigration . But hopes of reaching a deal that protects DACA recipients , and potentially millions of other unauthorized immigrants, are fading. of US citizens to join their family members here.

The reapplication period for DACA recipients is now closed, and that number is going to start shrinking slowly over the next few months. 9 facts that explain DACA , the immigration program Trump is threatening to end. But it ’s fair to say that it ’s already seen its peak.

Gosia Labno is also a FWD.us volunteer. A DACA recipient from Poland, Labno grew up in Chicago and says she’s never felt targeted. She came to the US from Poland at the age of 6, initially on a tourist visa with her family. She became undocumented after a family member’s attempt to sponsor her failed. Few people knew about her status, something she thinks was easier to hide in Chicago, which then had the largest population of Poles of any city outside of Warsaw, Poland.

Obama announced DACA on Labno’s college graduation day. She decided to apply and then to talk more about being an immigrant. DACA was “a call to action,” she says. Still, she was hesitant about revealing her undocumented status. But then Trump was elected and rumors of DACA’s end began circulating.

“I decided that I have to fight for this,” she says. “Otherwise people will just assume it's solely a Latin American problem, when it’s really everyone’s issue.”

Bejko, Dhalla and Labno all say they often get comments from both opponents of immigration reform and pro-immigrant activists that being deported to Canada, Poland or Albania is not as bad as returning to countries that are experiencing conflict or extreme poverty.

FWD.us has itself been criticized for excluding many immigrants from its advocacy. Immigration activists, including writer Shaun Raviv in a column for The Atlantic, criticized the organization and Zuckerberg for having too narrow of a scope. Others have called out the organization for prioritizing high-skilled immigrants and those who would primarily benefit the tech industry.

Zuckerberg himself has acknowledged this criticism by responding to comments on his Facebook posts about immigration reform. He told commenters in 2013, the year FWD.us was founded, that he is interested in comprehensive immigration reform, not just “tech immigration.” Dhalla says the organization has evolved since they began work but that FWD.us has always pressed for “policies that keep our country competitive in a global economy, first related to immigration and now additionally through criminal justice reform efforts.”

Michigan bills require temporary immigration statuses on IDs

  Michigan bills require temporary immigration statuses on IDs <p>Bills that would require Michigan driver's licenses and state ID cards to show certain immigration statuses are headed to the House floor.</p>On Tuesday the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure unanimously approved the two bills, which would prohibit the secretary of state from issuing license or ID cards that expire after the duration of an immigrant's legal status.

'DREAMERS' AND IMMIGRATION DACA recipient Korina Iribe reacts to DACA ending | 0:57. Some DACA recipients are deported. David Agren/Special for USA TODAY. " We ’ re going to show great heart," he said in a February press conference.

“Inclusivity can be challenging within the immigrant space because when trying to advocate for one group, you’re alienating others,” says Mwewa Mwange of Undocublack, an advocacy group for undocumented black immigrants. Mwange is not her real family name — she asked that we not use her real name because of her immigration status. “By advocating just for DACA recipients or college students,” she says as an example, “you’re isolating those who may not fit the stereotype of an immigrant with exceptional academic or professional abilities.”

“FWD.us was created after [Zuckerberg] was teaching a class on entrepreneurship at an after-school program and realized that many of the students couldn't pursue a college education because of their undocumented status,” Dhalla says. “This has largely driven our work to advocate for an earned pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants.”

Which includes people from Europe and Canada.

“It’s still a complete uprooting of our lives no matter where we’re sent back to, and that can be traumatizing,” Dhalla says. “A lot of Dreamers who are now doctors or lawyers or other professionals — many of their licenses won’t transfer over, they don’t speak the language or don’t have any family there anymore. This has been their home most of their lives so, to them, they’re American.”

Dhalla and Bejko say that they are flexing their proximity to Capitol Hill to lobby Congress, visit elected officials and share their stories. Labno is also petitioning her representatives from Illinois to take action.

Until that day when Congress passes a bill that provides relief, Bejko says she’ll continue to use her voice to advocate for reform, and challenge racial bias directed at immigrant communities.

“That’s worth the risks of being visible,” she says. “Because there are many more Dreamers like me who don’t have that option. We’re in this together.”

Next:This is how an entire family that grows up together in the United States can end up with one person undocumented

Michigan bills require temporary immigration statuses on IDs .
<p>Bills that would require Michigan driver's licenses and state ID cards to show certain immigration statuses are headed to the House floor.</p>On Tuesday the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure unanimously approved the two bills, which would prohibit the secretary of state from issuing license or ID cards that expire after the duration of an immigrant's legal status.

Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/us/-134247-it-was-once-easier-to-go-unnoticed-but-some-daca-recipients-from-europe-and-canada-say-they-are-ready-to-join-the-immigration-fight/

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!