Scrolling Headlines:

‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass -

February 19, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 6 UMass Lowell for third time this season -

February 18, 2017

UMass hockey breakdown in final minutes of the second period on route to 5-2 loss to UMass Lowell -

February 18, 2017

Notebook: Jack Gibbs stars as UMass men’s basketball team drops game to Davidson Saturday -

February 18, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops another close game, falls to Davidson Saturday afternoon -

February 18, 2017

Local blogger Larry Kelley dies in car crash, remembered by community -

February 18, 2017

REPORT: UMass football to name Ed Pinkham as next defensive coordinator -

February 18, 2017

UMass students skip class to stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants and refugees -

February 18, 2017

NPR Education Correspondent Eric Westervelt talks on future of education -

February 18, 2017

Faculty of journalism department discusses failures of journalism during Trump era -

February 16, 2017

UMass hockey prepares for third and final match-up against No. 6 UMass Lowell on Saturday -

February 16, 2017

Panelists hold discussion on embodying global coalitions -

February 16, 2017

Journalist speaks on criminalization of youth in the United States -

February 16, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse heads to Florida in search of first win of 2017 -

February 16, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to get offense back on track against Ohio State -

February 16, 2017

Duquesne stomps UMass men’s basketball 96-66 in Pittsburgh -

February 16, 2017

UMass softball focuses on mental approach ahead of Madeira Beach Invitational -

February 16, 2017

UMass women’s basketball drops eighth straight in loss at Richmond -

February 16, 2017

‘50 Shades Darker’ steams up all windows in the nation -

February 16, 2017

’20th Century Women’ is a love letter to women across generations -

February 16, 2017

In response to election, immigration lawyer briefs students on potential changes

Jong Man Kim/Collegian

Jong Man Kim/Collegian

In his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to eliminate the executive order allowing immigrants protected by the DREAM Act to stay in the United States, end immigration of Muslims and deport all non-citizen residents with criminal records, even those here legally.

In reference to immigrant students’ reaction such promises, Professor David Hernández of Mount Holyoke College said, “Many students here feel legitimate fears and concerns.” He went on to explain that it is exactly those fears that inspired a special lecture meant to help shed light on the immigration system, and potential changes under the new administration.

The talk, entitled “Immigrant Students: Know Your Rights” was a last minute addition to the University of Massachusetts Department of History’s continuing “Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series” held on Wednesday in the Integrative Learning Center. The event was cosponsored by the Mount Holyoke College Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American studies department and the Smith College department of history.

The event featured immigration attorney Megan Kludt, who explained the range of immigration policies and which ones were likely to be changed under a Trump presidency. To the relief of many students, rights like those of access to due process and the right to an attorney are protected in the constitution.

She said this means that mass deportation and denial of immigration to Muslim applicants would be extremely unlikely to be carried out. Furthermore, immigration law passed by congress is “unlikely to see change even with a new administration.”

“No major changes to U.S. immigration have been enacted by congress since the 1960s,” Kludt said.

She said congressional law establishes most legal paths to citizenship, and dictates under what conditions illegal immigrants can be detained or deported. Still other immigration policies are created by case law, the precedent set by courts over the years.

While Trump’s judicial appointments might alter case law in the long term, no short term changes are likely, so Kludt said the impact on current immigrant students should not be a concern.

There are, however, some immigration laws that could be quickly altered by the new administration. Kludt explained that immigration policy created at the discretion of regulators, like the Department of Homeland Security, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, could be changed by Trump appointments within those agencies.

“We do not have reason to be particularly hopeful,” Kludt said about those appointments.

However, there is a section of immigration law even more vulnerable to change: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Kludt explained that DACA is unique because it was enacted by an executive order by Barack Obama.

“Literally, on his first day of office he could dismantle the program,” Kludt said of Trump. This means that DREAMers, immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children, could lose their legal status.

Kludt explained that even with a loss of status, this would not mean immediate deportation, as congressional law and the requirement of due process still block such action.

There are however, special vulnerabilities faced by illegal immigrants or immigrants whose legal status might be taken away by the Trump administration. Kludt said leaving the United States could be risky.

“If you know anyone under DACA planning to travel, I advise you to tell them to be back in the U.S. by Inauguration Day,” Kludt said

Students at the event reacted with hesitant relief.

Sarjana Jaiswal, an economics and psychology student at Mount Holyoke, said that as an Indian citizen she had been concerned about her legal status to study in the U.S.

“But at this helpful seminar and others I have fortunately learned I am protected from deportation,” Jaiswal said.

“I think there are a lot of things to be concerned about with the new administration, but am hopeful that with people organizing positive change can happen,” said Sabine Rogers, an environmental studies major at Mount Holyoke.

At the end of the event, Kludt said interested students should follow and support the actions of relevant immigration groups like the Immigrant Defense Project, noting that political outcomes could be influenced by diligent activism.

Noah Kouchekinia can be reached at nkouchekinia@umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “In response to election, immigration lawyer briefs students on potential changes”
  1. Pam Lassila says:

    There is so much to know about immigration laws. My good friend is facing deportation and we are trying to figure out her rights. I think it is time though to hire a lawyer to help us defend her and her rights.

Leave A Comment