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Why the latest DACA news may affect you if you're Asian

If you are "one" in the statistic showing that one out of seven Asian immigrants in New York and throughout the United States are undocumented, then you might also be among those who are deeply troubled regarding recent updates on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. News that President Donald Trump discontinued DACA has many immigrants on edge, worried that they will be next in line as a target for removal. Perhaps you're only a few semesters away from receiving your college degree or have plans to start a business.

More than 800,000 DACA recipients are now worried that their plans (many of which may be similar to yours) will be ruined. If your parents brought you to the United States as a young child or infant, you may be completely unfamiliar with your country of origin. The thought of being forced to leave your home in the United States and start all over again in a place that essentially is a foreign country to you is no doubt quite disconcerting.

Stats from the South Asian advocacy group

If you are of Indian descent, you may be especially concerned about the cancellation of DACA. The following information shares facts regarding DACA as it applied to and now may affect you if you're Indian and have been living in the United States without appropriate legal status:

  • You may be one of 7,000 Indians who have already qualified for and received DACA protection. That protection no longer exists.
  • At least 17,000 additional people who share your ethnicity are currently eligible for DACA but will now be unable to apply or receive this temporary assistance.
  • All Indians and any other immigrants who qualify as Dreamers will now be subject to threat of deportation.

If you've been living, learning and working in this country your entire life, it's understandable that you may feel rejected, perhaps even betrayed now that a potential opportunity to which you were so greatly looking forward has been pulled out from under your feet.

If a problem arises and the court detains you, it's important to try not to panic. There are several other reasons that a judge may halt removal proceedings. If you reach out for assistance from someone well-versed in U.S. immigration law, you may be able to explore other options outside the DACA system. If there's a way to protect your residency in the United States, an immigration advocate may be able to help you find it.

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