Editor’s Note: This article is the first of a series of guest blog posts written by immigration reform activists, community leaders, and immigrant families.
Our first guest is Chasity Alvarez, an administrator of Families Advocating Immigration Reform & Unity (FAIR Unity), one of the most active immigrant support groups on Facebook.
We hope you like the addition of guest posts to Immigration Law, Policy, And Politics, and encourage you to contact us if you would like to be featured here.
As 2018 begins, there are several issues which all immigrants and their families will need to face in the coming year.
Before jumping in, I would first like to address a point raised by President Trump last year.
Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
Take the current situation facing Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries.
Over 300,000 individuals who have TPS status are at risk for deportation if the Trump Administration scraps the program in the near future.
Rumors abound such a decision will be abruptly made, with limited, if any, advance warning.
Such an ignominious ending would be no surprise.
DACA is dead.
Or more precisely, the death bed has been rolled out.
In a few months, all that will remain for many immigrants is a bitter memory.
I’m not surprised.
But now is not the time to wallow in self-pity.
The study of history, it’s been said, is the study of unintended consequences.
This is true on the personal as well as the public level. For immigrants, especially those from South and Central American countries, the proposition has dire meaning.
Beginning their journeys with uncertainty the norm, most of them realize unplanned events on the trail to the U.S. can lead to life-changing outcomes, abrupt endings, and death.
Arrival ensures no less unpredictability.
Small miscues can set in motion undesirable though foreseeable consequences.
Many folks decide to handle immigration cases on their own. That’s understandable.
It is rarely prudent.
Over the years, I’ve seen the outcome for countless individuals who decided to represent themselves in immigration matters.
Take immigration court hearings.
Representing my own clients fighting deportation at court, I’ve watched pro per immigrants sitting before a judge, neither comprehending court rules nor understanding what the judge is asking them.
It’s p-a-i-n-f-u-l to watch.
As the new year dawns, most of us reflect where we’re headed, individually and collectively. Internal strength and resolve are once again at a premium, if our positive thoughts and words are to be turned into actions.
Countless resolutions, based on ideal visions of ourselves in the future, are projected for the year to come.
Unfortunately, when it comes to immigration, optimism is missing in action.
The Happy New Year ended when the clock struck midnight at Times Square.