DALLAS - Millions of undocumented immigrants could be targeted for deportations under sweeping new immigration enforcement policies.
Memos signed by the Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly indicate a person in the United States illegally can be deported if they’re charged with committing a crime.
But the White House said some of the concerns are overblown and the focus is on keeping America safe from dangerous criminals.
“The message from this White House and DHS is that those people in the country who pose a threat to our public safety or have committed a crime will be the first to go. And we will be aggressively making sure that occurs,” said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Dallas attorney Domingo Garcia said many Latinos are concerned about racial profiling. He wants to make sure undocumented immigrants know their rights.
“We got lawyers from downtown, lawyers to solo practitioners all volunteering to say we are going to defend the law of the land, defend our constitution,” he said.
Many immigrants have been meeting with caseworkers in the Catholic Charities of Dallas’ legal services and immigration department. Most said they just want to make sure all their paperwork is in order.
“I feel like this is my home. This is where I belong. I don’t know how to write or read a language not even back home over there from where I come from and this is where I learned it. Everything I know is from here. I know nothing else but this country. This is my home,” said Guillermo Aguilar, who was outside the charity office Wednesday morning.
He is a legal immigrant under former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order. That order allows young people who were brought into the country illegally as children to stay in the country and get work permits.
The White House insists that directive that will remain in place at least for now, but Aguilar and many others are still worried.