AUSTIN (KXAN) — Immigrant families in Central Texas say they’re feeling very anxious that President-elect Donald Trump will follow through with his campaign promise to deport millions from the United States.
“Alex,” who wants to protect her family, is among the families worried. She works at an East Austin restaurant and says she’s been feeling uneasy all day, “I feel sad, depressed, I don’t know what’s going on with our future.”
The single mother has two boys, one who was born in the United States. She was hoping his citizenship would give her some protection, “America is the country for opportunities right, so I decided to take the opportunities for my kids and for myself too.”
What’s at risk for many includes policies President Barack Obama put in place to protect undocumented immigrants. Immigration attorney Tony Diaz says with President-elect Trump, two particular policies could disappear.
One is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which allows children brought into the country illegally to stay and work here temporarily. Another called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) protects undocumented parents of American citizens, which a number of states have filed lawsuits against the federal government citing violations of the Constitution.
“Really what’s at risk is the uncertainty in the future for the young people particularly,” said Diaz “They’ve given their whereabouts, their fingerprints, their phone numbers, their addresses — these people are at risk because they are basically wearing a target on their back.”
Diaz says at this point, anyone who is still undocumented needs to hurry up and become a citizen. He says the key is to get everything started before next year and when the new administration takes place. Otherwise, he warns deportation and being separated from families could very well be a reality for many.
Diaz has the following message for immigrants who do not speak English: