Fear grips communities as immigrants prepare for new administration Information is empowering, rights advocates say

OneJustice legal fellow Maureen Slack and Orland Unified Student Support Services Secretary Neli Peña discuss the upcoming immigration fair.
OneJustice legal fellow Maureen Slack and Orland Unified’s Neli Peña at a planning meeting for the March immigration fair.

by Leslie Layton

Scared.

That’s how attorneys and immigrant rights advocates were describing their clients in the weeks preceding the inauguration of a president whose campaign was laced with hostile anti-immigrant rhetoric.

As a candidate, Donald Trump talked about massive deportations and vowed to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that has brought relief to hundreds of thousands of young adults who were raised in this country without legal status.

The best antidote for fear, say rights advocates, is preparation. In California cities, immigrants can usually find a qualified organization that offers free or low-cost services – including legal consultations and know-your-rights forums. But in rural California, those kinds of resources are often rare or nonexistent.

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