FAQs

FOR STUDENTS, EDUCATORS AND SOCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS
(source: MALDEF)

What can my family do to prepare for any interaction with ICE, for example, if my workplace is the target of an ICE raid?

 

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has created Red Cards that provide information about how to assert your constitutional rights during a raid. Visit ilrc.org/red-cards for details.​

I am undocumented / have undocumented family members. Will we be immediately deported?

 

No. We do not know at this time what approach the Trump Administration will take toward undocumented families.

Individuals without status who are present in the U.S. have certain legal and constitutional rights. You have a right to a hearing and to have a judge review your case. That process can take years in some cases, and you can remain in the U.S. until a final decision is made. Other constitutional protections prevent certain enforcement tactics, and may present a basis to challenge overly aggressive attempts at immigration enforcement by the federal government.

 

I have DACA. Will my deferred action be terminated when President-Elect Donald Trump takes office in January?

 

The new President may cancel DACA if he chooses. At this time, we do not know if Trump will immediately cancel the DACA initiative or when that might happen. Even if DACA is terminated, whether or not your lawful presence and work permit will cease right away depends on the announcement by the President and how it is implemented by the federal government.

I have DACA. Will the federal government use my information to find and deport me?

 

Deporting over 700,000 DACA recipients would be very time-consuming and expensive. DACA recipients are also near the bottom of the government’s priority list for deportation. However, Trump’s actions are difficult to predict, so families should take precautions now by discussing other legal options with a qualified immigration lawyer.

There would also certainly be a legal challenge to use of private data submitted under DACA for enforcement activity.

 

What will happen with DAPA / Expanded DACA (DACA 2014)?

 

Implementation of these initiatives has been halted by a lawsuit. MALDEF is vigorously defending these programs in court. However, the new President can rescind these initiatives if he chooses, effectively making that court process moot.

I have a pending immigration petition. What will happen with my application?

 

For non-DACA applications pending with USCIS, there is no reason to believe that those applications will stop being normally processed according to current laws.

How can I find out if I have other options to avoid deportation?

 

Seek assistance from a reputable immigration lawyer. Avoid notario scams. Visit immigrationlawhelp.org for more information about non-profit legal service organizations by state.

I’ve been placed in removal proceedings. What can I do?

 

Talk to an immigration lawyer immediately to plan your next steps. You have the right to a hearing before any decision is made about whether you have to depart the country. You also have the right to an appeal.

Can my citizenship be taken away if my parents are undocumented?

 

No. The U.S. Constitution grants citizenship to all people born in the U.S. regardless of their parents’ immigration status. There is not enough support to amend the Constitution to remove birthright citizenship, and any attempt to amend the Constitution would take years and would likely apply only to those born after adoption of an amendment.

Should I worry about going to the hospital emergency room?

 

No. Under federal law, your personal information should be kept private by doctors and staff.

Should I still report crime to the police?

 

Yes. Most police officers are only interested in investigating crime and won't be interested in your immigration status. If you are a crime victim, you may be eligible for a visa that would allow you to stay in the U.S. Talk to an immigration lawyer about the facts of your case.

I plan to file an application for VAWA / U visa/ T visa. Should I wait?

 

No. There is no reason to delay filing for this relief. It is established in U.S. law and cannot be changed by the President acting alone.​

What can my family do to prepare for any interaction with ICE, for example, if my workplace is the target of an ICE raid?

 

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has created Red Cards that provide information about how to assert your constitutional rights during a raid. Visit ilrc.org/red-cards for details.

 

My family sends money to relatives in Mexico. Can the government confiscate that money?

 

No. Companies that transfer money among relatives from the U.S. to Mexico do not track their clients’ immigration status. Even if companies could distinguish between legal and undocumented immigrants in their clientele, seizing funds based on national origin or immigration status would be unconstitutional and would be immediately challenged in court.

 

 

 

Additional FAQs
(source: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA UNDOCUMENTED LEGAL SERVICES CENTER)

The information below is informational and does not constitute legal advice. Each individual case is different, and advice may vary depending on the situation. Further, the information is changing on a daily basis. If you have any questions about your case, please contact an immigration attorney for a consultation as soon as possible.

Will I still be able to work with my current, unexpired DACA Employment Authorization Document ("EAD") card after the Presidential Inauguration?

 

It depends on whether President Trump repeals DACA. If DACA is repealed, you will no longer be able to work with your EAD card even if it has not expired. If DACA is phased out or "sunsetted," you will only be able to work until your Employment Authorization Card expires. That expiration date is listed on the card. If DACA is left untouched, you may continue to work as long as you maintain DACA.

If DACA is revoked, can I work with the social security number I got through DACA?

 

No, unfortunately you cannot. While your social security number is permanently yours and can be used to file income tax returns, the work authorization allowed for on the social security card might be temporary. The social security card received through DACA only allows for work authorization in conjunction with a valid grant of DACA, or some other valid immigration status.

 

What will happen to my job if my Employment Authorization Document expires or is revoked?

 

If you are employed with work authoization, you will most likely be unable to keep your job. 

What will happen to my tuition?

 

Undocumented students are ineligible for Federal financial aid. However, the following California-based programs should not change regardless of what happens with DACA:

  • The California DREAM Act: California law that makes qualifying undocumented students eligible for state-based grants and institutional scholarships.
  • The California DREAM Loan Program: Establishes state-based educational loans for undocumented students attending California public universities.
  • AB540: A California law that allows a qualifying student who would otherwise not be eligible for in-state tuition to pay in-state tuition fees at any UC, CSU, or CA community college.

 

I currently have DACA. Should I file a DACA renewal application in the future?

 

No, if DACA is repealed or sunsetted, you should NOT file a DACA renewal application in the future. You will risk losing the filing fee and you will be giving updated infomration to the government, which could be used against you. If DACA has not been revoked and you would like to renew, please contact an immigration attorney as soon as you can.

I have not yet applied for DACA. Should I apply now?

 

No, you should not apply for an initial DACA application. Applying for DACA provides your contact information, immigration history, and other important information to DHS, which can then use that information to go after you or your family members that reside at your address.

Even though the original DACA program promised that information would not be shared with ICE, we don't know if the new administration will keep that promise.

I received Advance Parole to be abroad after January 20, 2017 (for example, study abroad). Should I go on my trip?

 

No, you should not leave or be outside of the country now that the new president has been sworn into office. This is because if President Trump repeals DACA while you are abroad, it is very likely that you will not be permitted to re-enter the United States upon return, with or without Advance Parole. If you want to remain in the United States, you should NOT leave the United States if you are undocumented or DACAmented.

I want to visit my family in my country of birth, because my grandmother is there and very sick. Should I apply for Advance Parole to visit her?

 

No, you should not apply for advance parole or emergency Advance Parole. If you seek emergency Advance Parole, and if you seek emergency Advance Parole, and if you travel now that the new president has been sworn into office, it is possible that you will not be permitted to re-enter the United States.

I applied for Advance Parole and my application is pending. Should I withdraw the application? What will happen to my pending DACA renewal?

 

No, it is not necessary to withdraw your application if they already cashed your check. Even if your Advance Parole application is approved before your travel date, you should not travel outside the United States. 

What will happen to pending DACA Renewals is still uncertain. We will provide more information as soon as we receive it.

If I am charged with a crime will it affect my immigration status?

 

It may and you may be required to appear in immigration court and be at risk of being deported. Under the new Executive Order issued on 1/25/2017, President Trump made a priority for enforcement those who have been charged with a crime but not yet convicted. Please see a reputable immigration attorney if you find yourself in that situation.

Can I be referred to immigration if I get arrested?

 

Yes, you may. Under the Executive Order issued on 1/25/2017, you may be referred to immigration court even if you have not been charged for a crime. Please see an immigration attorney if you find yourself in that situation.

I am planning to marry my United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident partner - how does that affect my status?

 

It may affect it postively, but it depends on your specific situation and a variety of other factors. It is very important that your marriage is a "real" or "bona fide" marriage, which means that your marriage cannot be fraudulent. There are many factors that may preclude an applicant from gaining lawful permanent residency through marriage, such as the manner in which the applicant entered the United States and complex laws known as "grounds of inadmissibility." 

What should I do if I come in contact with ICE?

 

The U.S. Constitution guarantees rights to all people in the U.S., regardless of citizenship status, which includes the right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. In practical terms, that means that during a police or immigration officer encounter, you have:

  • the right to remain silent;
  • the right to refuse consent to a search of your person, your vehicle, or your home without a valid warrant; and
  • the right to calmly leave the interaction if you are not under arrest, and the right to ask to speak to an attorney if you are arrested.

You should carry around the Immigrant Legal Resource Center's "red card" to read our rights in case of contact with ICE.

What can I do to keep my family safe?

 

You can help them develop a safety plan, as well as inform them of their rights.

To read more about developing a family preparedness plan, please see:
https://www.ilrc.org/family-preparedness-plan

Is it ok for me to travel to another state within the U.S.?

 

In the U.S., domestic flight security is governed by the Transportation Safety Administration, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. There is a risk of travelling on a domestic flight, because you could be asked about your immigration status by security. If you currently have DACA and it has not expired, you should be able to travel within the U.S. via plane or other forms of transportation. If you are travelling by plane, you should make sure that you can provide the Transportation and Security Administration Agents with acceptable identification. If DACA is repealed, you should not use your EAD card, and there may be a greater risk of travelling within the U.S.

If you are undocumented without DACA, it is not recommended that you use an AB60 license as identification for travel.

Please also see the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) fact sheet on risks associated with travel within "100-mile border zone."

California just legalized marijuana for recreational use. If I buy marijuana and am caught with it, can that affect my DACA renewal application or any future immigration applications?

 

Yes, it can. Immigration is governed by federal, not state law, and marijuana is still unlawful to possess under federal law. Furthermore, it is important not to post images on social media of you engaging in marijuana use. If you have an arrest, citation, or conviction for any crime related to marijuana, or are generally concerned about how marijuana possession can impact your immigration status, please contact an immigration attorney.