By Manuel Arias, HIPGive contributor
The war drums are beating and the storm winds are starting to blow for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants who live in the U.S., and for the 700,000 young students and professionals who signed up for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for immigrants who arrived to the country when they were younger than 16.
Though the president elect has softened his anti-immigrant language, he’s also nominated General John F. Kelly, who until last January ran the U.S. Southern Command, to oversee the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
President-elect Donald Trump commented that Kelly is “the right person to spearhead the urgent mission of stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders,” and also assured that Kelly will be responsible for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In this time of great insecurity in the U.S., it’s urgent that the Latino community closes ranks to confront the anti-immigrant policies that the new government is planning to implement.
Faced with this uncertainty, states like California and Illinois and cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, among many others, are publicly challenging the new government and declaring that they’re “sanctuary cities and states” that will decisively defend their immigrant communities.
Trump has threatened to take away their federal funding if they don’t allow U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to do its job. But it remains to be seen whether the federal government could do so, since the states would then have the right to sue the executive to stop him from carrying out his threats.
In the meantime, the Latino community—and especially those who are undocumented—will have to arm themselves with courage and take all possible precautions to prevent being detained by local police or immigration agents. Here are a few concrete tips to share (courtesy of our friends at United We Dream, who have a wealth of deportation defense resources):