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Are Young Immigrants Trump's Next Target?

Immigrant advocate groups urge Ohioans to support the immigrant community and refugees, no matter what their status. (Fibonacci Blue/Flickr)
Immigrant advocate groups urge Ohioans to support the immigrant community and refugees, no matter what their status. (Fibonacci Blue/Flickr)
January 30, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Young immigrants and their allies in Ohio are nervously anticipating President Trump's next move on immigration policy.

Last week the president signed several executive orders impacting immigrants and refugees but did not act on a promise to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

DACA allows work permits and deportation protection for an estimated 750,000 young undocumented immigrants. Allison Reynolds-Berry, executive director with immigrant rights group Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center in Cincinnati, said DACA recipients are facing an uncertain future.

"Every day, something else comes out that says DACA might be taken away,” Reynolds-Berry said. “And for these students who are trying to go to class and do their homework and live their lives, going to work and supporting their families in different ways, it's really hard for them to stay focused when they know that tomorrow they might lose everything that they've been working for."

According to one October survey, 95 percent of DACA recipients were working or in school, and there are an estimated 13,000 immigrants in Ohio eligible for the program.

Trump and top Republican leaders are said to be discussing plans for DACA and suggested that current recipients would not face immediate deportation.

Reynolds-Berry urged Ohioans to come together in support of the immigrant community and refugees - no matter what their status.

"We know that discrimination has been increasing for people of color especially,” she said. “And as much as we can, we speak out against those incidents when we see them; speak out against people who are supportive of President Trump's policies."

The president's spate of actions on immigrants and refugees included a ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, the stripping of federal funds from sanctuary cities, and orders to begin constructing a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

This collaboration is produced in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded by the George Gund Foundation.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH