USF student, immigrant fears deportation under Trump

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President-elect Donald Trump's campaign promises regarding immigration have some immigrants scared they will be kicked out of the country.

President Barack Obama gave reprieve to immigrants brought here as children by their parents, but some in that situation worry Mr. Trump will roll the executive order back.

The fear is all too familiar for University of South Florida student Paul Barrett. The only person in his life who doesn't realize what could be ahead is his new son.

"If DACA gets revoked, then I potentially lose everything," 23-year-old Barrett said.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is Barack Obama's 2013 executive order allowing 380,000 previously undocumented immigrants to stay in the country.

"I am a standup citizen, without the 'citizen,'" Barrett said.

He was 11 when his aunt brought him to the U.S. from Jamaica. Now, he's a track star at USF, works on campus, and is studying environmental science. Barrett has hired Richard Maney as his lawyer.

"By taking away that program, you are punishing the children for the acts of adults," Maney said.

While the president-elect has said his priority in deportation will be known criminals, Maney hopes power will soften Mr. Trump's outlook.

"What was campaign rhetoric? Once he is the president, he is also the president of Paul, and the many, many DACA recipients, they're part of his constituency now," said Maney.

If DACA is repealed, lawyers will be left to find exceptions for 50,000 Floridians. Paul and his girlfriend, Ruth Simpson suddenly have new reason to fear for more than just their son's future.

"I don't see how he can just, out of nowhere, just decide we don't need these people anymore, they're not valuable, they're not assets to our country. It just doesn't make sense," Simpson said.

The Washington Post reports, because DACA is simply a policy memo issued by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, it can very easily be scrapped. The paper says anyone who gave the government their information and location to participate could be easily found by federal agents.