Advocates warn ‘dreamers’ to lie low as Trump ramps up deportation plans
“Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups are advising undocumented immigrants not to enroll in a federal deferred-action program created by President Barack Obama over fears that the Trump administration will use their personal information to detain and deport them.
The caution reflects deepening anxiety over sweeping new enforcement guidelines from Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly that aim to ramp up deportations of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Kelly’s directives do not overturn the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has granted renewable, two-year work permits to more than 750,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally as children. But lawyers said that the broad expansion of the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement powers has heightened the risk for immigrants who have registered with the agency.
Under the program, applicants are required to present proof of their identity, such as a passport or birth certificate, and show documentation of where they go to school or work.
“The main risk is bringing attention to yourself,” said Gregory Chen, advocacy director for the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association, which is advising people not to enroll. “Our reading of the DHS memos, and we’ve looked carefully at the language that creates an exception for and retains DACA, is that they really are cold comfort to anyone concerned about the viability of their immigration status.”
The uncertainty threatens to place Obama’s signature immigration program in an indefinite state of limbo and lower participation levels even if President Trump does not formally end it. Trump had derided DACA as an “unconstitutional executive amnesty” in a speech in August, but he has equivocated since taking office.
At a news conference this month, Trump called the program “one of the most difficult subjects I have” and pledged to “show great heart” toward those enrolled in DACA, commonly known as “dreamers.
DHS officials said concerns that DACA recipients would be targeted for deportation were unfounded, and they emphasized that the agency continues to process applications as it had under the Obama administration.
“We don’t want there to be fear or panic,” said Gillian Christensen, an agency spokeswoman. “We’ve made it pretty clear that DACA recipients are not affected” by the DHS directives.
But advocates said they have little faith in those promises, pointing out that Kelly’s memos state that DHS “no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.” On the day the memos were released, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that “everybody who is here illegally is subject to removal at any time.”
…..Continue reading more @ WashingtonPost
Poll: Half of College Students Believe Their Student Loans Will Be Forgiven
“Half of college students believe their student loans will be forgiven after graduation, according to a recent poll.
LendEDU, “a private firm that connects students and their families with student loans and loan refinancing,” conducted a survey that found 49.8 percent of students believe the government would forgive their student loans after graduation, the New York Post reported.
Despite what these students believe, there are actually a limited number of instances where the government can forgive student loans.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, federal student loan borrowers can have their loans forgiven “if they enter public service jobs for a specified period of time, agree to teach in an underserved area, die or become permanently disabled, or if the school they attended shuts down while they are enrolled or within 120 days after they leave.”
“The biggest exemption is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and very few students go into public service,” said Nate Matherson, a co-founder of LendEDU. He also said the actual number of those who qualify for student loan forgiveness is less than 10 percent.
“Many students polled said they would rely on financial aid to make up the difference in reduced debt load,” reports the Post.
Ninety percent of students knew of FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), but most of those did not know the proper filing deadline.
“The fact that many students do not understand this means that they may be significantly underestimating the cost of financing a college education,” Matherson said.”
….Continue reading @ Breitbart