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DREAMers may face trouble ahead

Immigrants to the U.S. have been considerably concerned about the changes in policy that the upcoming Trump administration may make to policies and initiatives that were put in place by the last administration. In particular, those who have benefited from the Obama Administration's DREAM Act, which stands for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, may be in for a sharp reversal in fortunes.

The President-elect's campaign relied heavily on promises to stop illegal immigrants from getting into the country and eject millions who are already living, studying and working in the United States right now. Advocates and attorneys for young immigrants -- many of whom left their home country while so young that they no longer remember it -- are concerned that the DREAM act could be the first target of the new administration.

About 71,000 young adults fall into a special category of DREAMers affected by the executive order known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It allows those who meet certain considerations to get deferred action relief from deportation, making it possible for them to get legal IDs, driver's licenses, temporary work permits, educational grants, and establish themselves as productive members of U.S. society.

It's seen as a step on the path toward eventual citizenship and a way to allow the best and the brightest among the nation's childhood immigrants to prove that they should be given an opportunity to remain in the U.S.

Advocates, including university officials who have students in the DACA program are warning young immigrants who might be traveling outside the U.S. for school programs or to visit foreign relatives through a sort of government-approved "parole" to be back inside the the U.S. when the new president takes office. Otherwise, they risk being shut outside the only country they know as home.

If you have been protected by the DREAM act or currently meet the DACA program requirements, it might be wise to contact an immigration attorney for advice on how to proceed and what to prepare for in the face of the uncertain policy changes that could take place as early as next year.

Source: CBS News, "Young DREAMer immigrants warned not to be abroad when Trump's sworn in," Dec. 12, 2016

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