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Are you safe under DACA? Recent headlines aren't optimistic

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program allows hundreds of thousands of people here in the United States who are children of undocumented immigrants to remain in the country. If you meet certain qualifications, you could receive DACA status, which would guarantee your right to stay here in Kentucky for two years. In addition, you could receive a free work permit good for two years, and you may receive the right to apply for a driver's license.

Sounds good, right? The problem is that if the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services denies your application, you could face deportation. This program does not have an appeals process, so it's imperative that you get it right the first time. To bolster your chances of successfully receiving this protected status, you may want to consider enlisting the services of an attorney. Furthermore, considering the current climate regarding immigration, it appears that DACA status might not keep you here.

DACA under President Trump

Even though President Trump continues his efforts to detain the nearly 11 million immigrants in the United States who remain undocumented, he decided to exclude from deportation the approximately 750,000 people protected by the DACA program. He says that he understands their plight, including the fact that they may have few if any, ties to their native countries since they arrived here as children.

Despite this, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents continue to arrest these individuals. A recent investigation discovered that no fewer than 10 people with DACA status remain in federal custody. This worries many of those who live in the United States under DACA status that they could suffer the same fate, so if you are one of them, you aren't alone in your concern. 

Should you worry about deportation?

Maybe, since it seems as though some disconnect exists between President Trump's orders and the actions of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Not surprisingly, current immigration policy causes some confusion. If you thought you were safe from deportation under DACA, unfortunately, you may need to think again.

For instance, agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently deported a 23-year-old California man with DACA status. Few details regarding his initial contact with officials are available, except to say that he failed to produce proper identification and proof of his status at that time. Officials claimed his status expired in 2015, but his attorneys reportedly provided documentation proving his status remains valid until 2018. Despite this, he currently resides in Mexico with family.

Anyone here in Kentucky who holds DACA status, or whose status could expire soon, might benefit from discussing the situation with an immigration attorney. Furthermore, if officials take you into custody and question your right to be in the United States, don't wait. Contact an attorney right away to protect your rights.

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