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Immigration law: Time is running out for "Dreamers"

Thousands of people participating in the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program across the country, including some here in New Orleans, may be feeling as though they are pawns on a chessboard. While they wait for a determination as to whether they will be able to remain in the United States, a battle of wills seems to be raging between the current administration and Congress. The question on their minds surrounds whether immigration law regarding their particular situation will be passed in time.

Some sources are wondering why members of Congress and the Senate who supported the DACA program are now hesitating to pass legislation that would provide those participating in it the opportunity to remain in the country and perhaps even become citizens. Officials threatened a government shutdown, but it has not yet happened. Even if an agreement on legislation is not reached by the end of 2017, time remains in the beginning of 2018 to get the job done.

However, starting in March 2018, DACA participants begin running out of time. In fact, some people have already been taken into custody and detained pending deportation. Unless something happens soon, detention centers could be overflowing with people who through no fault of their own live in this country without the proper documentation.

While the federal government considers making the needed changes to immigration law, DACA participants may search for other options. Doing this type of research alone may not yield any potential answers. It may be a good idea for anyone here in New Orleans facing deportation due to this controversy to seek out the counsel and advice of an attorney.

Source:, "Immigration anxiety unlikely to ease soon," Esther J. Cepeda, Dec. 17, 2017

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