President Trump's decision about DACA hits close to home for many. In California, around 200,000 people benefit from the program.
One of them is Vlad Stoicescu-Ghica, an Angelino from Romania. He told Take Two he found the Tuesday morning announcement by Jeff Sessions disturbing:
"I think I've had time to prepare and to get myself ready for what would happen in my case, but the way that it was put out there — particularly with Attorney General Jeff Sessions stating a lot of inaccuracies about the DACA program — that really did not connect with my experience at all," Stoicescu-Ghica said to Take Two's A Martinez. "That frustrated me more, the way that they presented it."
With such an uncertain future, what do DACA recipients like Stoicescu-Ghica do now?
For that, Take Two turned to L.A. immigration attorney Yanci Montes. Below are just a few things for Dreamers to think about.
Do: Seek legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney
Montes: It's important for them to seek the right guidance and the right legal advice to determine whether they're eligible for some work permit. They may be eligible for a Green Card. There are so many other immigration benefits out there that they may not be aware of.
Do: Apply for a Social Security number
Do not: Leave the country
If you are planning on leaving the country under Advance Parole (that's permission from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to leave the country) do not do it at this moment.
If you know anyone or if you are someone outside of the United States with Advance Parole, they need to come back into the United States right away, because we're not sure if they're going to have the right to enter the United States again.
Do not: Do immigration applications on your own
Do not: Have a notary public to do your paperwork
These are matters that are very delicate. Only an immigration attorney with experience should handle these matters.
[Dreamers] are still eligible to continue working at their workplaces until their work permits expire. They do not have to tell their employers that they're under the DACA program.
As soon as their DACA permits expire, they should go ahead and have other plans as far as other ways they can get a work permit or Green Card through other programs.
Employers do not have the right to ask an employee if they are under DACA.
If ICE visits a DACA recipient or their family
ICE may come over to their house, but they have to understand that they have rights, just like any other undocumented person here in the United States.
The Constitution protects them. If ICE comes over to their house, they have the right to remain silent. They have a right to have an attorney. They have a right to present their case before an immigration court to present their immigration case.
ICE has said that DACA recipients are not a priority to them, so the fear of ICE coming to their house right away? I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon.
This post should not be used in place of an experienced immigration attorney. Guest answers have been edited for brevity and clarity. To hear the entire interview with Montes as well as more of Stoicescu-Ghica’s story, click on the blue play buttons above.