New Bedford Sees Dash for Citizenship Under Trump Presidency
NEW BEDFORD - Helena DaSilva Hughes, Executive Director of the Immigrants' Assistance Center in New Bedford says President Trump's most recent executive order on immigration has put some folks at ease, but has worried many more.
DaSilva Hughes tells WBSM News, if upheld, the new order would make violations such as traffic offenses deportable offenses, putting even licensed undocumented immigrants at risk. "But after a year, that license isn't good anymore, yet they keep driving. So I think that [the executive order] is just putting more fear into this undocumented population, which is already vulnerable," says DaSilva Hughes.
Nearly 500 undocumented immigrants have applied for citizenship in New Bedford since President Donald Trump's campaign, according to DaSilva Hughes.
DaSilva Hughes said however she's glad children of undocumented immigrants will still be able to apply for former President Obama's DREAM Act, granting them permission to legally stay in the United States for several years before having to reapply. Says her office has been visiting area schools, explaining to immigrant students what they need to do to stay on the path to citizenship. "Stay in school. Make sure you don't get into any trouble. And if you are working, make sure you get a tax ID number so you can start paying taxes."
DaSilva Hughes believes the Trump administration will introduce an immigration reform bill within the next two years.