WASHINGTON — Fearing Donald Trump’s immigration plans and doubtful about help from the GOP-run Congress, pro-immigration forces are seeking to mobilize public opinion to forestall the president-elect’s threatened initiatives.
San Antonio Democratic lawmakers and national advocacy groups say Trump’s promise to “immediately” rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is the most urgent threat as they prepare for an uncertain time in which prospects for comprehensive immigration reform have dimmed.
Both sides on the issue await Trump’s appointments to head Homeland Security and for related posts as a signal of his plans. Trump’s selection of Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the U.S. Senate’s most ardent critic of liberalized immigration, won praise from immigration critics while leaving immigrant advocates expecting the worst as Trump’s selections become known.
Hoping to bring public pressure on Trump, U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro and Lloyd Doggett, both San Antonio Democrats, intend to take part in a DACA summit at the University of Texas at San Antonio on Dec. 11 to call attention to threats from Trump’s promised cancellation of DACA.
Under DACA, started in the Obama administration in 2012, some 750,000 immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, young people known as Dreamers, have been shielded from deportation and provided temporary work authorizations.
Castro also is offering to help others in Congress sponsor DACA summits modeled after the December event in San Antonio, spearheaded by state Rep. Diego Bernal, D-San Antonio, and others.
“I think it’s going to be important to show the country who they are and that they are in this situation through no fault of their own,” Castro said.
In recent letters to other House Democrats, Castro recommended sponsoring DACA summits in December, before Trump’s January inauguration, to publicize personal stories of Dreamers and highlight benefits of keeping the program.
By Bill Lambrecht, Washington Bureau for San Antonio Express-News
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