77ºF

South Florida undocumented immigrant weighs in on Trump's executive order

Immigration attorney says there's a lack of personnel to enforce order

MIAMI – President Donald Trump has begun making good on his promise to reshape U.S. immigration policy.

"We've put in place our first steps in our immigration plan, ordering the immediate construction of the border wall," Trump said. "And I mean the immediate removal of criminal aliens. They're going to be gone fast."

It's part of two executive orders signed by Trump on Wednesday. One part of the new policy involves the deportation of non-citizens who are either criminals, or those charged with a crime but not convicted.

Trump's actions are not sitting well with some undocumented immigrants in South Florida. 

"It is criminalizing humans that just want to have an opportunity, that want to help society," undocumented immigrant Julio Calderon said. 

Calderon is from Honduras and was brought into the U.S. as a teenager, a month too late to qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

He has already been cited for driving without a license.

Under Trump's policy, he is eligible for deportation because he has a criminal infraction on his record.

But Calderon said he won't live in fear.

"With the Trump administration, I'll be a lot more careful, at least when it comes to my family (and) protecting everyone around me," he said.  

Immigration attorney Antonio Revilla said that because something is written on paper doesn't necessarily mean that it will become a reality. 

"The executive order can read a certain way. The reality is there are constitutional issues," Revilla said. "How can you put someone in removal proceedings or try to remove someone that's only been accused of a crime and not convicted of the crime?"

Revilla said there is also a lack of personnel to enforce the executive order, among other issues.

He said modifications must be in place or many parts of it will be challenged.


About the Author: