SF Philippine consulate, Tancinco Law holds forum on DACA
SAN FRANCISCO — The rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, by the Trump administration has prompted the Philippine consulate in San Francisco to take action.
And while the consulate is not authorized to interfere with the US government, they want to ensure Filipinos affected by the rescission of DACA can get help.
“Sec. Cayetano has given us a very clear instruction to provide necessary and appropriate assistance to those who need it. Part of that is the importance of disseminating correct information,” said Con Gen Henry Bensurto Jr.
The consulate is building a network with certified immigration lawyers and non-profits to provide the best help possible.
“We have to be mindful also that there will be fly-by-night lawyers who could laso take advantage of other people’s plight.”
In a joint press conference with immigration lawyer Lou Tancinco of Tancinco Law offices, important information was shared with those affected.
For example, DACA renewals must be received on or before the October 5th deadline.
Attorney Tancinco encourages DACA beneficiaries to not lose hope and to reapply if they can.
“Most of them are already enjoying the benefits; for instance being able to work right now, earn income, be a part of society,” she said. “Why cut it short if there is still this opportunity?”
Tancinco adds that the undocumented still have rights.
Other than staying out of trouble with the law, she offers these tips in case of an ice arrest.
1) You have a right to privacy, so do not open your doors without a warrant signed by a judge. And even then, you should have the agent slide the warrant under the door.”
2) Tell the agent that you are exercising your fifth amendment right to remain silent, until you speak to your attorney.
3) Do not sign any document without first speaking to an attorney.
4) You can contact the Philippine consulate for assistance.
5) And in case of a detention, you have due process to a hearing, and you should not be immediately deported. Call your legal counsel.
“If they are not asserting their rights they will lose number one, the right to legal counsel, and if you have a legal counsel you can avail of different types of relief or options for you to stay. And why make it easier for ICE to do their job?”
Attorney tancinco also advises that DACA recipients should not travel unless it is for urgent reasons.