The future for a program that allows young, undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S.is unknown.
The uncertainty comes after the outcome of the presidential election. During his campaign, Mr. Trump said he would repeal President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
The program, which started in 2012, allowed young, undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” to stay in the country for a period of two years and work lawfully without the fear of deportation. A Dreamer’s deferred action status could be renewed after the two year period expired.
Some immigration attorneys in Waco said they received calls from concerned clients before and after Election Day regarding the possibility of the program being repealed under Trump's leadership.
"They're afraid they're about to be deported. They're afraid they will be on the top of the list for deportation now that the government knows where they live and who they are because part of the process of applying for DACA required that they give the government their current address as well as every address they have lived at since they have been in the United States," Professor of Law at Baylor University Laura A. Hernandez said.
Hernandez, who runs the Baylor Immigration Clinic said the clinic has assisted nearly 300 Waco area residents in getting their DACA card since the program started in 2012.
She recommends those up for renewal of their DACA card should apply now. However, she said those who don’t yet have a DACA card shouldn’t apply because they probably won’t receive the benefits of the DACA program.
"It is highly unlikely that if you send an application, they will process it before President-Elect Trump is sworn in. We have every reason to believe that he will cancel the program on his first day in office or shortly thereafter," Hernandez said.
Hope Mustakim with the Waco Immigration Alliance invites people to go to them if they are scared or have doubts. In addition, she said they can provide them with resources, such as known immigration attorneys in the area.
"We just want to provide emotional support and any type of resources that we can for people because these are our community members, these are our neighbors [and] our students in school," Mustakim said.
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