Are immigrant activists lying to DREAMers?

As a follow-up to my previous article about Democrats essentially misleading DREAMers by giving them false hope of legalization, I have been asked to discuss if immigration activists might also by lying to them.  The dozens of activist organizations fighting for legalization of immigrants in the United States illegally are active both online, on social media, and in public.  They have a megaphone and are screaming for legalizing anyone who is currently without papers (though some groups are even fighting to eliminate the border between US and Mexico to allow free movement).  It must also be pointed out that the efforts of the activists have had some impact.  The DACA program has helped nearly a million DREAMers and for all practical purposes, if you are in the United States illegally and stay out of trouble, no one will bother you (an estimated 12 million undocumented aliens live like everyone else) and you can even work illegally.  In fact, most undocumented immigrants can even get free money from the IRS when they file their tax returns.  In addition, if you have US-born children, and if you get paid under the table, you can even pretend to be poor and actually put your kids on welfare.

At the same time, exactly like the politicians, the activists too start to mislead their followers because without them, they do not have a job (indeed, there are a few volunteers but a lot of activists are employees of various organizations).  The attorneys who are campaigning on behalf of illegal immigrants hope to get a lot of fees when they help them do the paperwork.  And many activists are also hoping that either they will keep their jobs as activists for a long time or get into politics eventually.  So, yes, we do need folks to do the dirty job of activism, what they are not doing is to tell you that an amnesty is unrealistic any time soon.  By not doing so honestly, they are stopping you from thinking clearly and evaluating other options.  In other words, just be aware that attorneys, activists, and politicians have their own agendas and they are not necessarily watching out for your best interest.  Only you can do that.

Are Democrats lying to DREAMers?

I have heard from a lot of DREAMers who are hearing from experts that the probability for their legalization is just about 20% but the Democrats running for president are promising a path to citizenship.  Obviously we all like to be optimistic about the future but ignoring reality is stupid.  As I pointed out in this post here it is very unlikely that there will be some kind of comprehensive immigration reform.  If DACA is not declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, the most a Democrat president can do is to renew DACA for another four years.  As expected, the House will remain under GOP control while the Senate will remain split.  In other words, mostly gridlock in Washington, along the lines of how it played out under President Obama.

Obviously, totally unexpected things can happen.  It is likely that miraculously Democrats win everything (which they did in 2008 but still did not pass CIR) but it is very unlikely.  Unfortunately, all the Democratic candidates in their desperate quest to win the White House are telling what DREAMers want to hear without telling them that the reality on the ground is going to be a lot different.  The conclusion is that if you are a smart DREAMer who has better plans for the future than working in low-end jobs for the rest of your life and living illegally, it is a good time to evaluate other options.  The best one is to use the loophole of advance parole to clear your EWI, marry a US citizen, and adjust status.  Other options include migrating legally to other countries, particularly Canada.

Can President Trump deport DACA approved DREAMers?

In addition to discussing possible scenarios for the future of DACA and DREAMers who have been approved, a lot of you have written to ask if DACA approved DREAMers can be deported were Donald Trump to become the US president starting January 2017.  I am glad to hear that smart DREAMers are planning their future right now rather than scrambling when the decision is made.

So here are the facts.  Even if Donald Trump were to be elected president in 2016, it is unlikely that Republicans will have filibuster proof majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  In other words, he will not be able to accomplish everything that he is promising to do.  Having said that even if a Democrat were elected president, they would not be able to pass a comprehensive immigration reform either and the best that can be hoped for is an extension of DACA (in case the Supreme Court does not declare it unconstitutional).

We also know that President Barack Obama has done everything that he could possibly do to help those immigrants who are in the United States illegally.  In addition, he instructed Border Patrol to look the other way making it easier to cross the Mexican border illegally.  Plus, if you did not make trouble, he also left you alone with absolutely no prosecution for identity theft or unauthorized work or using fraudulent documents.  Despite this lack of enforcement of American immigration laws, a small number of immigrants were deported but mostly turned away at the Mexican border.  Stopping anyone from entering the country without proper papers and deporting those who are here without authorization are the duties of the US president and he is bound by law to do so.  The president does not need any further approval to do so.

So if Donald Trump wins the presidency, he can simply cancel DACA (in which case, you will lose your protected status and authorization to work immediately, though, he might give a few days or weeks to leave voluntarily) and then start enforcing the immigration laws to deport anyone who does not have the right documents.  DACA approved DREAMers are going to be easy targets because they have provided information about them along with their fingerprints to the Federal government.  So it is true that there are no resources to deport 13 million folks, Trump can use existing funds to deport a lot more than Obama has done.  For this, he already has the legal authority and funds.  Exactly what will happen and how it will all play out will be known only in the future, but DREAMers who want to have a more predictable life and live with respect must start to plan ahead.