Children of Immigrants Worry About Deportation Under Trump | NBC Southern California

Children of Immigrants Worry About Deportation Under Trump

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    Thousands of students across Los Angeles are taking swift action to reapply for the DACA program, in hopes that that could guarantee them another two years from possible deportation. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016. (Published Monday, Nov. 21, 2016)

    Thousands of students are taking swift action across Los Angeles following President-elect Donald Trump's pledge to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

    Local immigrant groups are asking people to reapply for their "deferred action for childhood arrivals" applications, if they're set to expire next year, in the hope that it could guarantee them another two years free from possible deportation.

    "For so long Latinos said Trump can't win, Trump can't win," said  Erika Landa, a DACA recipient. "He's not going to win and it happened. He won."

    Landa said she's living in a new reality now: Miles away from her family in Sacramento, and at risk of being deported.

    "I'm afraid that they're going to take me, and there's going to be nothing I can do for them," she said, choking up.  

    The separation happened when she went off to college, to Cal State Channel Islands.

    "My parents are everything to me," she said. "They taught me to value education."

    She said her parents warned her about what could happen, which is why they helped her sign up for DACA, President Obama's executive order of "deferred action for childhood arrivals." Landa was 2 when she came to the U.S.

    "Immigration could take you away, and we're going to be too far to help you and so that fear has definitely come back," she said.

    Now with President-elect Trump preparing to take the reigns, Landa and tens of thousands like her worry about what's next.

    "DACA is an executive order issued by the president of the United States which can be undone by another president," said Nelson Castillo, an immigration attorney. "So if president-elect Trump wants to undo DACA, he has all the power to do it."

    Castillo said he doesn't think it would be a good move politically for trump to cancel DACA outright. But he does think a Republican president with a Republican Congress could finally fix the broken immigration system.

    "It can be done," Castillo said. "It should be done."

    Meantime, he said, DACA recipients, and those looking to reapply now, like Landa, should remember the program was only meant to be temporary. And they have a lot of homework to do.

    "If they knew that from the get-go, they shouldn't be panicking at this moment," Castillo said. "They should have already been working on other motives to obtain permanent residency."

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