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by Sergio H. Benavides

Nov. 15, 2016

Dear Friends & Clients:

After the presidential election outcome, many of us, myself included, were shocked and disappointed that Hillary Clinton did not become our first female president.  A protest march passed by my office a week ago with hundreds of people walking past on Winton Avenue, in Hayward—and they continue all over the country.  Now, someone known for calling Mexicans murderers and rapists, and for a Muslim ban, won the White House.  This talk hurts all of us living in the U.S., and I denounce it.   I am a U.S. citizen born from immigrants from Costa Rica, and am proud of the things my family have done here.  I am proud of my friends and neighbors from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, Nigeria, and all other parts of the world, who came here looking for the American Dream.  This country is better because of immigrants.

I do not know what the future holds—but we at the Law Office of Sergio H. Benavides will continue to fight for each client’s best interests no matter who is in power.  Trump is expected to take office in January, 2017, and we will know then what changes are coming to Immigration Law.  I hope his actions are very different from his words.

I do not recommend that people panic or self-deport.  I do not recommend any non-citizens apply for a new application for D.A.C.A.—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  This is a program President Obama brought about through Executive Action, and Trump is expected to reverse it.  People will most likely still have access to Asylum, U Visas, Cancellation of Removal, and many more types of immigration relief.  The California Driver Licenses will continue to be available—they were enacted by California law, and untouchable by the president.

Please remember:  The United States is a strong country because of immigrants.  Whether it was forced immigrants (like the slaves brought from Africa), or those who voluntarily came here—with or without papers—to create a better life for their families and their futures.  Trump and the government cannot, in my opinion, deport millions of people as he promised.  Deporting so many would be a massive undertaking, costing billions of dollars, and probably destroy the economy.   Many industries, including Mr. Trump’s own construction projects, depend on the work of immigrants—with and without a legal right to be in the U.S.  As a businessman, he is the first to know, that deporting all of our undocumented workforce would be a bad business decision.

TIPS ON DEALING WITH IMMIGRATION AGENTS:
1) If asked, give your correct name.  Do not provide I.D.

2) If asked where you are from, tell them the city you are living in now. For example, “I’m from Hayward.”  Do not mention any home country.

3) If asked any further questions, do not answer, and tell them you wish to have an attorney present before answering anymore questions.

While we wait to see what happens, we must continue to be involved in our society, to read the news, to vote–become a citizen if you can–and to be involved in creating change at every level of government so that we create the country, the government, and the society we prefer to live in.  Although we look to future with caution, this is a democracy, and we always have the power to change things.

 

Sincerely,

Sergio H. Benavides

Criminal Defense & Immigration

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