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Yesterday, I was able to attend President Obama’s town hall on immigration. The event was hosted by MSNBC and Telemundo at Florida International University’s Graham Center — an intimate venue that allowed a small crowd to witness the President champion his executive actions on immigration.
The event, which was televised across the United States, lent itself as a platform for the Obama Administration to commit itself to upholding the work it has done on on DACA and DAPA. However, it offered little to no details about the plans the Administration has to continue to build on the groundwork it has laid out to tackle the issue of immigration — what will happen to the parents of DACA beneficiaries who are not covered by DAPA? What will happen to families who are still threatened by the fear of deportation?
Personally, these are very valid fears for me and my family. Although the President was swift to state that all immigration enforcement ought to be following the prosecutorial discretion guidelines that have been outlined by the Department of Homeland Security, there is no guarantee that my parents could not be stopped by police, detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and subsequently deported.
As a DACA beneficiary, I am thankful for everything the President has done; but, I am also aware that there is still a lot of work ahead of us. For now, I encourage those who are able to qualify for DACA to continue applying, while those who qualify for expanded DACA and DAPA to gather their documents and wait for the courts to allow the execution of the programs.
Watch my friend Erika ask a question about her mom yesterday: