Concerns remain over mass deportation threat

Karina is more fearful than ever, for her mother and herself

(CNN) – Donald trump ramped up his push to crack down on illegal immigration in the wake of the deadly truck attack in Berlin.

It’s sending shivers down the spines of the so-called dreamers who are fearful as the president-elect prepares to take office. Making empanadas with mom is a tradition Karina Solano-Suarez wants to keep alive, even after Donald Trump is sworn in.

Karina is a dreamer who grew up in Chicago, turned DACA recipient, or a person brought to the U.S. as a child and asked by the Obama administration in 2012 to come out of the shadows – in exchange for a work permit and temporary stay.

DACA, she says, helped her overcome the fear of being undocumented.

Karina said, “In the fear going away there was empowerment within the undocumented community.”

But Karina’s mother doesn’t have DACA protection, and after a grueling election cycle where President-elect Trump vowed to round up and remove illegal immigrants, Karina is more fearful than ever, for her mother and herself. Immigration attorneys including Karina’s are telling their clients to prepare for the worst.

Immigration Attorney Lam Ho said, “We are preparing that we can respond both legally and through community activism through organizing to challenge the policies that we expect he will implement.”

Meanwhile, Karina and other dreamers are digging in their heels and participating in protest, hoping his election talk was just bluster. Recently, he softened his tone about dreamers to Time Magazine, saying, “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud.”

But his appointment of immigration hardliner Jeff Sessions as Attorney General has immigrants fearing the new administration will make good on its promise to implement mass deportation, even of historically low priority dreamers like Karina.

Karina noted, “I don’t trust him only because he doesn’t trust us, and he made that very clear from the beginning of his campaign.”

Dreamers are prepared to fight for comprehensive immigration reform so their parents can stay too.

David Chalian, CNN Political Director, said, “Donald Trump is really between a rock and a hard place here, because one of the things that thrust him into the Oval Office was their fervent desire for a really tough on immigration position. And yet, we know from polling that 90% of Americans believe that they should have some ability to stay here legally if certain requirements are met.”

Karina concluded, “We are a force to be reckoned with. I think he should be preparing himself for this sort of fight for us trying to stay together with our parents and our community members.”

The hope, Karina says, is that this supper with mom won’t be one of her last in America.