Curb­ing travel

Con­cern grows that Obama pro­tec­tion could be ended by Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in New York

Im­mi­grants brought to the US il­le­gally as kids are ad­vised to end travel abroad be­fore Trump be­comes pres­i­dent be­cause he may end Obama pro­gram al­low­ing them to re-en­ter the coun­try.

Im­mi­grants who were brought to the United States il­le­gally as chil­dren, but were pro­tected from de­por­ta­tion by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, are be­ing warned by some ad­vo­cates to make sure they are not trav­el­ing abroad when Don­ald Trump is sworn in as pres­i­dent on Jan 20.

Some ad­vo­cates, lawyers and uni­ver­si­ties are con­cerned that Trump might im­me­di­ately re­scind an Obama pro­gram that had al­lowed these young im­mi­grants to work and travel for hu­man­i­tar­ian, ed­u­ca­tional or em­ploy­ment pur­poses.

That could lead, they fear, to some peo­ple trav­el­ing abroad be­ing barred from re-en­ter­ing the US.

“We are rec­om­mend­ing all travel be com­pleted by or be­fore Jan 20 in the event laws or pro­ce­dures ex­pe­ri­ence a dras­tic change,” said An­gel­ica Salas, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Coali­tion for Hu­mane Im­mi­grant Rights of Los An­ge­les. “We wouldn’t want to ex­pose them to an un­cer­tain sit­u­a­tion should they not be al­lowed back to the US.”

Trump made il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion the cor­ner­stone of his cam­paign, promis­ing to build a wall along the Mex­i­can border and de­port mil­lions of peo­ple liv­ing in the coun­try il­le­gally.

His ac­tual plans, though, have yet to be re­vealed. Re­cently, he has said he wants to fo­cus on peo­ple who have com­mit­ted crimes.

Dur­ing a re­cent Time mag­a­zine in­ter­view, Trump ex­pressed sym­pa­thy for the 741,000 peo­ple in Obama’s De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram, which started in 2012.

“We’re go­ing to work some­thing out that’s go­ing to make peo­ple happy and proud,” Trump said. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good stu­dents. Some have won­der­ful jobs. And they’re in never-never land be­cause they don’t know what’s go­ing to hap­pen.”

Ad­vo­cates are still be­ing cau­tious.

Nancy Lopez-Ramirez, a 20-year-old stu­dent born in Mex­ico who is plan­ning a trip there as part of a City Col­lege of New York class, said she is glad the group is re­turn­ing by Jan 15.

“My mom is like ‘I am con- cerned with you not com­ing back, I want you to be able to come back,’ ” she said.

“It is nerve-wrack­ing but I think that at the end it is go­ing to be worth it,” said the po­lit­i­cal-sci­ence stu­dent, who was brought to the US when she was 4.

Trump can re­scind the promised pro­tec­tion right away through an “op­er­a­tional memo” be­cause Obama im­ple­mented it through one, said Wil­liam Stock, pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Im­mi­gra­tion Lawyers As­so­ci­a­tion.

He said the pro­gram’s par­tic­i­pants should not con­sider trav­el­ing over­seas un­less they ab­so­lutely need to.

US Cus­toms and Border Pro­tec­tion spokesman An­thony Bucci said his agency “can­not spec­u­late” when he was asked how long would it take for CBP of­fi­cers to deny en­try to the US to pro­gram par­tic­i­pants if Trump elim­i­nated the pro­tec­tion.

Trump called the pro­gram an “il­le­gal amnesty” dur­ing his cam­paign.

Tatyana Kleyn, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at City Col­lege who or­ga­nized the up­com­ing Mex­ico trip, said in­ter­est in it ac­tu­ally surged among stu­dents after the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

“So right now our bus fits 18 and we are bring­ing 20,” she said. “It feels like a last chance.”

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