Just days into his presidency, Donald Trump wasted no time in signing two executive orders to reshape immigration policies. Combined with other actions, it was akin to taking a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty.

The orders call for construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and increasing the number of border patrol agents and immigration enforcement personnel to speed up deportations. Trump also revived a program called Secure Communities in which federal officials use digital fingerprints shared by local law enforcement agencies to find and deport immigrants who commit crimes.

The orders also cut off grant funding for sanctuary cities, jurisdictions that do not fully cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement efforts.

It is all aimed at finding, detaining and ultimately deporting undocumented immigrants, a majority of whom are contributing members of society, especially in Kern County's multi-billion dollar agriculture industry.

People are genuinely fearful.

"We need to be much more prepared for what's coming up ahead," said Win Eaton, a local immigration attorney.

That's why a dozen local lawyers have been hosting town hall-type meetings around Kern County letting all types of immigrants know what their rights are.

Headed by H.A. Sala, the Immigration Justice Collaborative brings together lawyers with expertise in fields that directly or indirectly impact immigrants generally, though the focus is largely on the undocumented.

Recent meetings held in Delano and Lamont brought out large crowds. You could sense the feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and fear of what may lie ahead for immigrants under a Trump White House and Republican-controlled Congress.

Are police officers and sheriff's deputies going to start acting as federal immigration agents and question people about their immigration status? Can a person be arrested for not answering? What can a person do if Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raid a workplace?

These and a ton of other questions are on the minds of parents, workers and students who continue to live in the shadows because Congress continually fails to act on comprehensive immigration reform.

Anticipating the political and social climate could get bad for immigrants under Trump, the Arvin City Council recently debated becoming a sanctuary city. While such a policy is largely symbolic, sanctuary cities — there are about 40 in California — usually offer political support and practical protections for undocumented immigrants. Such a policy cannot supersede federal law.

But Arvin City Attorney Shannon Chaffin talked the council out of adopting such a policy by citing Trump's threat to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities. According to Chaffin, the federal government has the legal authority to do so.

That was apparently enough to spook the City Council and it decided not to go the sanctuary route. Instead, the council instructed city staff to draft a resolution stating that it welcomes all immigrants.

"I wanted to send a message to the community to ease any fear in this hostile political environment," said Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola, who came up with the idea. "We will protect all of our law-abiding citizens regardless of immigration status."

The Arvin resolution will adopt the Major Cities Chiefs Association immigration policy of 2013. MCCA is an organization of police executives representing the largest cities in the United States and Canada.

The policy is also consistent with the California Police Chiefs Association talking points on immigration. It calls for no intervention by local law enforcement agencies in enforcing immigration laws. Doing so undermines the trust and cooperation between police and immigrant communities. Police would focus on arresting anyone who commits a crime, regardless of his or her citizenship status.

On a related note, Trump tried to tie undocumented immigrants to voter fraud. Still upset that he lost the popular vote by more than 3 million votes, Trump repeated a lie to congressional leaders last week that he would have won the popular vote had it not been for massive voter fraud.

Trump has never offered proof of his ridiculous claim, but you know what they say about repeating a lie often enough: People will start believing it.

Kern County elections chief Karen Rhea, along with others statewide, have debunked Trump's claim. Rhea has said her office has no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Kern County during the 2016 presidential election. Even some in his own party aren't buying what Trump is peddling.

"It is the most inappropriate thing for the president to say without proof," said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. "I would urge the president to knock it off."

If there's any good news, it's that Trump appears to be walking back his promise to immediately end President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, order. This program gives temporary deportation relief for young people and allows them to work with a valid Social Security number.

But I'd be skeptical about Trump's motivation for wanting to work something out for DACA kids. Most likely, he wants to use this as leverage against Democratic lawmakers to push through yet more draconian measures against other undocumented immigrants.

Divide and conquer? Nah, can't happen. I'm just being paranoid.

Contributing columnist Jose Gaspar is a news anchor for KKEY, Telemundo Bakersfield. Email him at elcompa29@gmail.com. His work appears here every third Monday; the views expressed are his own.

(12) comments

GaryJohns
GaryJohns

Jose (the snowflake) rides again.....

Lamonster
Lamonster

Putting aside the hyperbole and fear-mongering in Mr. Gaspar's piece, there is one salient point here that he almost touches on but apparently chose to shy away from. That is that in this country anyone can walk down the street without carrying documentation to prove his identity or his citizenship. No license, ID card, work permit or social security number is required simply because we exist in this country. It's only when we choose to participate in society that we may need to identify ourselves. If we write a check the merchant has a right to know we are who we say we are. Going fishing? A warden can ask for your license and picture ID. Want a job? At minimum, a social security card is needed. If a policeman has reason to pull you over while driving you must show him your valid drivers license. Wouldn't it be the ultimate irony if that drivers license that Jerry Brown insisted was the right of every illegal to hold turned out to be the "Trump card" needed to identify and deport the "undocumented"?

Inconvenient Truth
Inconvenient Truth

There's another 'salient point' that is omitted from Jose's article: the word: "ILLEGAL."
Jose uses the word: "immigrant(s)" 11-times, and the word: "undocumented" 5-times, but never uses the word: "illegal."

Does this mean that if someone broke into Jose's home and stole his possessions, Jose would refuse to call them a "Burglar?"
Would Jose call them an "Undocumented House Guest," and accede to their demands that he speak their language and give them free food, clothing and shelter (and education while we're at it)?
Sometimes the Truth is very Inconvenient...

DonHonda
DonHonda

Is this what to expect from DREAMers?:

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/sdut-ruben-navarrette-one-dreamers-missed-lesson-2015jun24-story.html

Ruben Navarrette: One Dreamer’s missed lesson in good character

DonHonda
DonHonda

An Atlantic Monthly article that shows that most economists' thinking that an increased influx of immigrants provides more jobs for Americans is FALSE and does harm jobs for US workers and the economy:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/01/does-immigration-harm-working-americans/384060/

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990DEFDC1430F934A15750C0A9609C8B63

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/03/27/notes-on-immigration/
The Conscience Of A Liberal--Paul Krugman

"First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small."
" But as Mr. Hanson explains in his paper, reasonable calculations suggest that we’re talking about very small numbers, perhaps as little as 0.1 percent of GDP.

"My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That’s just supply and demand...

"Finally, the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear. "

Also, it is patently untrue that "immigrants" are the solution to low rate of start-ups:

http://smallbiztrends.com/2015/01/immigration-reform-declining-start-rate.html

DonHonda
DonHonda

Here's what Law Enforcement really think of Obama's "Priorities" of deporting Illegal Aliens Criminals:

http://www.sheriffs.org/sites/default/files/uploads/documents/GovAffairs/NSA%20CIR%202013%20FINAL.pdf
National Sheriffs’ Association Position Paper on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

The National Sheriffs' Association's press release reaffirmed organization's stance articulated in its 2013 position paper on immigration policy. (Id.)In the paper, the Association advocated for effective and efficient securing of the border, enforcement of the immigration laws currently on the books, requiring information sharing between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials, withholding federal reimbursement money from jurisdictions who refuse to cooperate with immigration officials, and strengthening employer verification requirements, among other things. (National Sheriff's Association, Jun. 25, 2013) The paper concluded, "The National Sheriffs' Association strongly opposes outright amnesty for those individuals currently here illegally. Amnesty does not work. When granted in 1986, it did little to stop the flow of illegal individuals from coming across the borders and, in fact, contributed to thousands of fraudulent applications for amnesty."

http://c3.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/SheriffsAgainstAmnesty.pdf
Bristol County, Massachusetts Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson

"No longer can we sit idle while the inaction of our Federal Government marginalizes our ability to preserve public safety, enforce our laws, and protect the Constitutional rights of all who legitimately reside and work in our communities."

http://www.kcra.com/news/local-news/news-sacramento/sacramento-sheriff-criticizes-obama-on-immigration/29851418
Sacramento sheriff criticizes Obama on immigration

"Jones vowed to crusade against illegal immigration after the shooting rampage last month by a Mexican man with a long criminal history who was in the country illegally."


http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/07/03/breaking-pier-14-murder-suspect-had-been-deported-5-times-with-7-felonies/
BREAKING: Pier 14 Murder Suspect Had Been Deported 5 Times with 7 Felonies

"Five-time deportee and seven-time convicted felon Francisco Sanchez has been jailed on suspicion of shooting and killing 31-year-old Kathryn Steinle Wednesday evening while taking photos with her father at Pier 14 in San Francisco, California. Sanchez was freed after the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department refused to honor a request by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain him, following a policy adopted in 2014. He was arrested soon after the shooting."

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2015/03/20/by-the-way-ice-just-released-thousands-more-violent-criminal-illegal-aliens-onto-american-streets-n1973552?utm_source=TopBreakingNewsCarousel&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BreakingNewsCarousel
By The Way, Ice Just Release 30,558 More Violent Criminal Illegal Aliens Onto American Streets

http://cis.org/ICE-Document-Details-36000-Criminal-Aliens-Release-in-2013
ICE Document Details 36,000 Criminal Alien Releases in 2013

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/10/22/immigration-detainees-released-criminal-records/17714925/
U.S. misinformed Congress, public on immigrant release

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/202142-dhs-document-68000-illegal-immigrants-with-criminal-convictions-released-in
DHS document: 68,000 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions released in 2013

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/10/17/thousands-of-illegal-immigrants-released-including-3000-with-felony-charges-or-convictions/
Thousands of Illegal Immigrants Released — Including 3,000 With Felony Charges or Convictions

DonHonda
DonHonda

Obama administration has admitted that Sanctuary Cities are a problem:

http://culberson.house.gov/uploadedfiles/doj_february_23_letter.pdf

But, within the above letter, doesn't really address what the Obama administration will actually do about it to protect US Citizens:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/300504684/What-Did-DOJ-Really-Promise-on-Sanctuary-Cities

Brian
Brian

Jose, I know it's hard for you to stray from the marching orders from your extremely racist hero Delores Huerta. Donald Trump was elected by the country to do exactly what he is doing. Even though I don't live there anymore the Central Valley is conservative including Kern. And yes I agree the slimy lawyers are doing all this for free, definitely not about the money. The taxpaying people are tired of it and did something about it. Deal with it, times are changing.

Inconvenient Truth
Inconvenient Truth

Jose, where were you when Bill Clinton got a standing ovation from Congress for extolling the same immigration policies as Trump?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wxMTh_UzHM

How did you react when Hilary Clinton and Barrack Obama both voted to build a wall along the Mexican border?
https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00262#name
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Fence_Act_of_2006

Finally, Jose, can you guess which President gave the following Executive Order?

"...the Secretary of State and the Attorney General will invalidate all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States, effective today. We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest of our own country requires. This directive will be interpreted very strictly."

Yes, it was Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter.
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=33233

Sometimes the Truth is really inconvenient.


JSmith
JSmith

"Trump has never offered proof of his ridiculous claim, but you know what they say about repeating a lie often enough: People will start believing it"
Trump is pretty smart. He got that idea from Obama who repeatedly lied about wonderful his policies were for this country.
Jose you didn't say anything about that.

Nevermind
Nevermind

Yeah Smith, don't you hate 2 dollar gas, a tripled stock market, low interest loans, Bin Laden swimming with the fishes, record deportations, less illegal entries, more people with healthcare coverage, and a less than 5 % unemployment rate. He just ruined all the great things Bush accomplished, the guy you voted for.....twice.

DonHonda
DonHonda

NOTE & WARNING: The links provided below contain direct quotes from Obama and his officials.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/16/obama-amnesty-extends-businesses-hire-illegals/
Obama gives free pass to businesses that hire illegals
Audits, fines drop for employers

"President Obama took office vowing to go after unscrupulous employers who hire illegal immigrants, but worksite audits have plunged over the last year and a half, according to a report released Tuesday by the Center for Immigration Studies, tumbling along with the rest of immigration enforcement."

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402,0,545192,full.story#axzz2xkzioeHR

The Left-Leaning LA Times posted an article that shows that the Obama administration, the Illegal Alien lobby, and the major media outlets have been in collusion to depict the "high" deportation numbers. The exact opposite is true since the beginning of the current President's policy. Interior deportation has and will be lower than 1973 rates. This is leading towards more people overstaying their visas and currently, more Illegal Alien minors crossing the border. Obama has just recently instructed border patrol to not turn back those Illegal Aliens on record as having entered illegally as priors, but to let them pass IF they don't have a major criminal record. After the first Illegal Entry, it is a felony each time thereafter.

Even Obama in 2011, called the deportation numbers deceptive when talking to Hispanic voters. President Obama said statistics that show his administration is on track to deport more illegal immigrants than the Bush administration are misleading.

“The statistics are a little deceptive,” he said Wednesday in an online discussion aimed at Hispanic voters."

"If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero — it's just highly unlikely to happen," John Sandweg, until recently the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/184393-obama-calls-for-pathway-to-citizenship-in-online-talk

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/12/deportations-come-mostly-from-border-dhs-chief-say/?page=1

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/346043/cooking-boo

http://www.ibtimes.com/immigration-reform-2015-obamas-priority-enforcement-program-protects-87-percent-2021453
Immigration Reform 2015: Obama's Priority Enforcement Program Protects 87 Percent Of Undocumented Immigrants, Report Finds

"The refocus in law enforcement efforts has effectively protected 9.6 million of the United States’ estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, the report found. In all, a full implementation of Obama’s changes would reduce annual deportations to approximately 25,000..."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/13/immigration-chief-sanctuary-cities-influx-kids/
"The federal government’s chief deportation agency has seen its success plummet under President Obama, and its chief, Sarah R. Saldana, will tell Congress on Tuesday that they’ve had trouble adapting to the changing face of illegal immigration and a lack of cooperation from both American cities and from foreign countries.

Ms. Saldana, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), says in testimony prepared for the House Judiciary Committee that the dramatic drop in deportations is a reflection of a trickier set of circumstances and pressures from all sides.

She said she had to pull agents off their regular duties during last summer’s illegal immigrant surge at the border, which meant fewer people focusing on deporting the longtime illegal immigrants living in the interior of the U.S. And she said the lack of cooperation from states, counties and cities when agents ask them to hold an illegal immigrant for pickup has also hindered efforts."

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