Immigration lawyer discusses DACA and DAPA during Dreamers Resource Center presentation

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Sameera Sani, an immigration lawyer, discussed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals at a presentation in the Titan Dreamers Resource Center (Katherine Picazo / Daily Titan)
Sameera Sani, an immigration lawyer, discussed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals at a presentation in the Titan Dreamers Resource Center (Katherine Picazo / Daily Titan)

The Titan Dreamers Resource Center hosted a legal expert who spoke about the recent injunction that forced millions of immigrants to continue living without legal protection from deportation.

Henoc Preciado, Coordinator of Titan Dreamers Resource Center, invited Sameera Sani, an immigration attorney with The Chugh Firm, to inform students, faculty and staff about recent changes with immigration and the negative impact of this injunction on the community.

During her presentation, Sani touched on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).

DACA, a program created through executive action by President Obama in June 2012, allows undocumented individuals who came to the country as children to apply for employment.

However, the program doesn’t create a path to citizenship and individuals who have received a DACA designation can lose it at any time.

DAPA—a program introduced by Obama in November 2014—aims to provide parents of children who are legal residents or citizens the ability to apply for employment, while also receiving protection from deportation, as long as they have lived in the country since January 2010.

More than 20 states have filed a suit alleging that President Obama overstepped his role when he enacted the executive orders that put DACA and DAPA into place.

Andrew Hanen, a U.S. District Judge in Brownsville, Texas, used the unresolved suit as his reasoning for blocking the executive orders on immigration that would have deferred the deportation of immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.

Sani deals with DACA cases and was undocumented for the majority of her childhood.
Her primary goal during the presentation was to educate the people about new developments of the DACA and DAPA programs.

Ruth Nuñez, a CSUF student and DACA recipient, recently submitted her DACA renewal application.
The Titans Dreamers Resource Center provides helpful information about immigration reforms, Nuñez said.

She said the community around her has basic information, and the resource center gives her greater insight on the issue to share with others.

“In this country, we are supposed to be moving forward, and reducing DACA is eliminating privileges, so it’s going backwards,” Nuñez said. She remains hopeful that the temporary injunction will be removed.

While that injunction remains, however, younger students may not be able to receive the same opportunities as those who applied for DACA previously, Preciado said.

“A lot of folks thought that as of last week they would’ve been able to apply for the expanded DACA and DAPA, but now there is a pause to that, so they can’t,” Preciado said.

The injunction could cause some students who otherwise would qualify to participate in the programs to be at a disadvantage, he said.

“We currently have students who are undocumented who qualify for DACA, but then those students might have older siblings that—when DACA first came out—were not eligible because of the age gap,” Preciado said.

Anyone who did not meet the requirements then was going to qualify with the expanded DACA because it removed the age gap requirement, he said.

The talk gave students a chance to ask questions to a reliable source who was able to give them the right answers, Preciado added.

That opportunity is important, Sani said, because there are many sources that can be misleading and unclear to the public.

“There can never be too loud a voice in this, because if we have things, for example, the injunction going on, clearly we are going to have a force that’s behind it to also get it out of the way … so if we silence ourselves, how is our future president of 2016 going to know that ‘this DACA program, I should definitely renew it,’” Sani said.

People were mostly interested in the extension and the how long, which makes sense because the DACA program was initiated in 2013, she said.

The Department of Justice filed an appeal to the injunction Monday night, and Sani said she is hopeful it will be successful.

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