Head of National Network Discusses Immigration, Refugee Rights


When President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January, President Barack Obama’s immigration plans could be repealed, leaving its recipient’s futures uncertain.

That's the view expressed by Catherine Tactaquin, executive director of the National Network for Immigrants and Refugee Rights, at a forum this week in Santa Barbara.

Obama established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy in 2012 to allow undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to pay a fee to receive protection from deportation and a temporary work permit.

“DACA has the most impact and is a concern,” Tactaquin said. “Everyone is on pins and needles about what is going to happen. Trump promised to revoke the program.”

Tactaquin also mentioned how Obama has deported more than two million people during his time in office since coming to office in 2009.

More than 50 people gathered Wednesday night to listen to Tactaquin, who was the featured speaker at “New President, New Policies: What is the Future of Immigration in the U.S.?” hosted by the Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law.

Individuals who qualified for DACA had to prove they came to the United States before reaching age 16, lived here for at least five years continuously, attend or graduated from high school or college, were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, and have no criminal convictions.

Migration Policy Institute estimates 9,000 people in Santa Barbara County are DACA-eligible.

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