Trump won the presidential election and he has pledged to cancel DACA; a program passed by president Obama through an executive order in 2012 to protect Dreamers from deportation— undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children—and grant them work permits.
Whether Trump will carry out his plans to cancel DACA or not is up for speculation as he will need to compromise on some issues in an effort to get congress to work with him and unify the country. In the meantime, Dreamers should prepare for a worst case scenario; or better said by one of my previous podcast guests in a recent Facebook post:
"A takeaway I've learned from this election is that no matter what anyone says, we must prepare to stand with and for our communities. We can be hopeful and ready at the same time." ~Luis Ortega
My guest in this episode is an award-winning immigration attorney recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a Rising Star for five consecutive years. Her name is Shannon Underwood and in 2009 she was the legal strategist behind a successful national effort to fight my deportation—before DACA even existed.
In this episode, we talk about her journey to becoming an immigration attorney, what could happen if Dreamers lose DACA, the role of activism in fighting deportations, and more.
- National advisory regarding DACA (6:36)
- Can sanctuary cities protect Dreamers from deportation? (12:55)
- Flexing your rights during an immigration raid (15:08)
- If arrested, how to avoid being held in a detention center (21:00)
- How long do deportation proceedings take? (27:30)
- The role of activism in my fight against deportation (31:11)
- Tips for choosing an immigration attorney (36:16)
Shannon behind the scenes:
- As an attorney, Shannon may come off as intimidating when people first meet her. But in the inside, she's a very sensitive and caring person.
- Working through difficult immigration cases can be heart-breaking at times. To stay motivated, Shannon reminds herself of her "why"—fighting for immigrant's rights.