Trump tells Dreamers 'rest easy,' but data show a different story

Brahm Resnik verifies if President Trump is helping or deporting Dreamers.

Candidate Donald Trump struck fear into the Dreamers.

"We will immediately terminate President Obama's two illegal executive amnesties," Trump told a cheering Phoenix rally in August 2016.

Barack Obama issued executive actions that shielded young undocumented immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. as children.

Obama's imminent departure set off alarms.

"They can come to our door, knock on the door and possibly take away our families," Dreamer Ricardo Zamudio told me last December. 

Community organizers were preparing Dreamers and their families for "emergency action" in case immigration cops showed up at their door.

Then President Donald Trump changed his tune.

Trump's message to Dreamers: "Rest easy."

"He said that he had a good heart, he's a good person, they shouldn't be scared," said Aldo Gonzalez, who helps Dreamers with their applications for the DACA program - Deferred Acton for Childhood Arrivals.

"What we've seen is the opposite of that," Gonzalez said.

New numbers from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirm Trump isn't going easy on Dreamers, who must renew their DACA work permits every two years.

During the last three months of 2016, just four percent of renewals were rejected.
During the first three months of this year under Trump, the rejection rate has tripled, to 13.5 percent.

Gonzalez said he believes Trump's executive orders earlier this year, cracking down on undocumented immigrants, explain the surge in rejections. 

Those Trump orders have led to a spike in deportations of undocumented immigrants with non-violent offenses on their records.

"Anyone who has anything in their record," Gonzalez said, "is subject to being deported."

It's not clear how many of Arizona's 56,000 DACA recipients or new applicants have been deported.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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