California legislators challenge Trump anti-immigrant agenda

OAKLAND, Calif. – As their new two-year legislative session opened Dec. 5, members of California’s state Senate and Assembly moved quickly to build on post-election initiatives to protect and uphold the rights of the state’s undocumented immigrants.

A 2015 study by the Public Policy Institute of California estimated California’s undocumented population at 2.67 million, or nearly a quarter of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., and said they make up just over 6 percent of the state’s population. Other estimates put the figure at around 2.3 million.

Dick Durbin, Lindsey Graham Unveil Bill To Stop Donald Trump From Ending Protections For Dreamers

WASHINGTON ― Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) unveiled legislation on Friday to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation under President-elect Donald Trump ― now the question is whether it will work.

The bill, called the Bridge Act, would effectively maintain the protections of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACAMore than 740,000 young people were granted deportation reprieve and work permits under the program, but could now lose those protections, should Trump follow through on a promise to end DACA immediately upon taking office.

Read the full story here. 

Opinion: DACA Can Spell Hope for Many Undocumented Immigrants

By Leonard Novarro

For most, leaving the house is as normal as putting on a pair of shoes. But for Ruben Espino of San Diego, stepping into the world outside his home was a stumbling block that might never end.

“I could not go out of the house without fear” of being stopped, arrested or deported, said Espino during a roundtable discussion in San Diego last week focusing on how many undocumented immigrants can recapture control of their lives. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in short, DACA, an executive action by President Obama in 2012, allows many immigrants trying to pass under the radar to realistically navigate a path toward American citizenship — or, at the very least, thwart deportation. While the program doesn’t put immigrants on that path directly, it at least can get them started in the right direction.

Read the full story here.

DACA Now: Returning To Mexico For The First Time In 17 Years

By Juan Ramirez

On June 2012, President Barack Obama signed into policy the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals also known as DACA. The policy provides a work permit and exemption from deportation that is renewable every two years to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. under the age of 16.

Former OPB news intern Juan Ramirez obtained a deportation deferral and was able to apply for “advance parole” — a permit that lets non-legal residents be paroled back into the U.S. — so he could travel to visit his sick father. Ramirez returned to Mexico this past fall for the first time in almost two decades.

Read his story.

What It’s Like To Be College-Bound And Worried About Your Immigration Status

Chelsea Beck/NPR

Chelsea Beck/NPR

Mayte Lara Ibarra and Larissa Martinez had just finished their senior year of high school when they each decided to go public with their immigration status. Both Texas students came to the U.S. illegally, and they didn’t want to keep that fact a secret any longer.

Ibarra identified herself on Twitter as one of the 65,000 undocumented youth who graduate high school in the U.S. Martinez revealed her status in the commencement speech she delivered at graduation.

An anxious election season for DACA cardholders

Francisco Salcido, 22, is a typical student who holds down a job and attends college. But his life — along with thousands of others —could change dramatically after the November presidential election. He is an undocumented immigrant with a renewable two-year work visa and deportation deferral called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

“I just can’t think of what would happen if my DACA got taken away,” he said.