Maria Blanco did a double take when the Google alert popped up in her inbox late last week: President Trump had reversed his campaign pledge and decided to continue a federal program temporarily suspending deportations of young people who are in the country illegally. The news thrilled Blanco, an attorney who heads the University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center -- the nation's first and only university system to provide free legal aid to students without legal status and their families. But her excitement was quashed within hours, when administration officials clarified that they still had made "no final determination" on the program -- called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA -- leaving in question the fate of 750,000 young immigrants under its protection. An estimated 3,700 students without legal status attend UC campuses. "It's such a roller-coaster ride," Blanco said Saturday.
In this Dec. 16, 2016 photo, Esperanza Villalobos, a "community navigator," works at her office at The Resurrection Project in Chicago. Villalobos helps immigrants who might need legal services to avoid deportation or learn about their legal rights. The organization she works for plans to hire more individuals like her after the city approved $1.3 million for a legal services fund for immigrants. Chicago is among several entities nationwide working to beef up legal services for immigrants.
Holzberg, a partner at Pullman & Comley LLC, expects the campaign will last roughly four to eight weeks. A website has been created to collect contributions. He said bar associations are also sending a solicitation letter to their members and various law firms. Some associations are holding fundraising events in the fall. There have already been "significant" pledges of money, he said.
The Mexican government opened legal aid centers at each of its 50 consulates across the U.S. Saturday to consult Mexican immigrants who may be affected by President Donald Trump's hard-lined policies targeting undocumented people living in the country. The "defense centers" were "specifically designed to provide consular assistance as well as legal representation to all Mexican migrants who require support in America," Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said in a statement. The centers will help the roughly 5.8 million undocumented Mexicans living in the U.S. gain dual citizenship, Videgaray said. Videgaray also said that Mexico allocated $54 million to the "defense centers," and hired 320 temporary workers to provide free legal assistance to Mexican citizens who might feel as if their human rights were being threatened in the U.S., CNN reported Sunday. The initiative was spearheaded by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who guaranteed Mexicans living immigrants in the U.S. that they would have access to legal guidance amid Trump's harsher deportation standards among undocumented people.