Washington, Nov 12 (IANS) Republican Donald Trump’s victory is the US presidential election has shattered the hopes and ignited fears amongst thousands of undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers”.
They are the young people who were brought to the US by their parents as children, CNN said in a report on Saturday.
This population, which the American Immigration Council says is roughly 1.8 million, feels exceptionally vulnerable under a Trump presidency because many came out of the shadows when President Barack Obama offered them temporary legal presence through executive action in 2012.
Now, with a President-elect who promised to deport the undocumented, the fear of deportation was more real than ever.
But the Dreamers, named for the failed 2010 DREAM Act, which had proposed a multi-step process to permanent residency, are dealing with those fears in different ways.
Itzel, 22, from San Francisco said she was undocumented and unafraid.
“Had Hillary (Clinton) won, the Band-Aid would have continued masking all of our issues. And with Trump’s presidency it takes the mask off and it exposes the reality of what it’s like to live in fear in the United States,” Itzel told CNN.
“I think that more people are going to be united against this hateful, racist, sexist, homophobic person.”
Itzel was only four years old when her parents brought her to the US.
She now hopes that her family and people around the country turn their fears into action.
Mother of three, Estrella, 32, from Grand Junction, Colorado said she was scared of Trump but it was her five-year-old who took the fear most to heart.
“He said he knew he (Trump) was a bad man who wanted to take away his mom and his dad,” Estrella said her son told her.
She had to calm her son down before taking him to school on Wednesday morning after the election results were out on Tuesday night, by reassuring him that she would not allow Trump to hurt him or his family.
Estrella was brought to the US illegally by her parents when she was one-year-old.
In Chicago, Rosa, 22, said she felt a triple threat after Trump’s win because she is Mexican, a woman and a lesbian.
“I feel like it’s a bad dream… I feel there are so many things and so many people against me and what I believe in and what I am and it’s just very hard,” Rosa told CNN.
Rosa was nine months old when her parents brought her to the US illegally.
Ignacia Rodriguez, an immigration policy advocate at the National Immigration Law Centre, said the deportation fears that dreamers are feeling are real and justifiable.
Those who took advantage of President Brack Obama’s 2012 executive action and were entered into the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Programme” only have temporary work permits, which will eventually expire.
When that happens, they are back to being undocumented and vulnerable to deportation, she added.