Immigration lawyer gives advice to DACA recipients

ABC News' Byron Pitts sits down with Cesar Vargas, an immigration lawyer who is also a DACA recipient, himself.
15:04 | 03/02/17

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Transcript for Immigration lawyer gives advice to DACA recipients
Everybody this is a Byron Pittsburgh Nightline joining me is Cesar Vargas Cesar is an attorney in New York State in fact he's a first undocumented Americans. Terror in his law license in city of New York immigration is in the news right now straight talk about. That issue so fauci thank you so much for joining us thank you so much for welcome first question what are some of the most common questions you get. One client should think about applying or renewing. Well the most most important question that was seen this. Should guy we knew my doc especially now that we're seeing that we don't know whether that is going to be taken away or not. But as there was time people as if Europe have already have good dot. We knew it there is a concern or whether you infamy she's going to be used for any type of immigration purposes. But for myself I also have Dhaka to what Tom people we knew it the process has been the same. The immigration services has has been confirming that their processing. All applications as usual nothing has changed of course the reality of what could happen on the feel and what can happen on a press release is much different. But there is a concern that if you haven't applied and this your first time. Where are being very very cautious to the extent that especially if there's something in. Your record whether some minor criminal wreck with a start around license or to a previous deportation order would tell people not to apply stone upon not to apply because. Yours your hand in over all your information to immigration and at this point we don't know. And in what way that information will be used for your lawyer says that being cautious apparently. Is being cautious because we want to make sure that our client or make sure their community are safe. And out reality is that the political climate has changed dramatically and the directives that present Donald Trump has given to immigration. Have changed whereas on the president. Obama. Doubt the priority in our lease on paper was to focus on people with violent criminal records. Now under the new administration we're seeing that the guy islands include essentially anyone not only people would welcome their records but people with my on the correctness. People who post a public threat people who may be a threat to public safety so you know that you theory. In captures almost the eleven million undocumented immigrants can't docket recipients be deport. Well in theory yes because doc has never been a pathway to citizenship. It was never a type of this legal status it was just me illegal presses its pretty much of the government saying. You know what you are deportable while we're gonna defer your deportation. Until something changes so. While immigration can come and to someone's house and say well you have baca you are they replacing deportation proceedings it can happen. But as we're seen being in many efforts that is unlikely. But we don't know what we have seen we have seen cases where dock of recipients. Have been detained none of them have been deported this moment but they have been detained. Com and people would know America so people would just in the process of renewing their dock. I don't care renewal stopping issue. Yes. USAA has the United States citizenship and immigration services has confirmed that. They are processing doc application as usual. President Donald Trump also has accepted stuck up from any cup are from revocation so. Dokic is that there's been posited as usual. But similar concerns similar being cautious that at this point we don't know. How immigration agents are enforcing. Those new priorities on the present Donald Trump when it concert docket recipients. But applying for doc you're extremely that it nearing getting your personal information. What information can they use it they seek to start the process to protect. Both of you Dickey use anything the fact that you are. Affirming that you have no legal status so they you either have overstate your visa. Or you came through with Al inspection to the border make you set up a provide information to say. This person has is someone who is deportable and removable then we can initiate deportation proceeding self all the information is very sensitive information I. And for myself I gave everything from my address to the name of my my mother to the places where I work so is very very sensitive information. Well a lot of our conversation as we know that lots Kapler country. Or dockers were by citizens who have real concerns of big part of our conversation. Is this reach that audience if questioned by ice what advice do you give to dock recipients and other undocumented immigrants to do or say. Well if you're here in the United States you have basic constitutional rights that we should never forget. That we due process like any any American you know very US constitution specifically the Fourth Amendment. The right to remain silent and that right against a reasonable solutions he says. This you know there's no in that amendment in never suspicious for US citizens so that's important arm but most importantly we need to remind people. To just stay quite you have the right to remain silent. Just give your name and say I want to speak to an attorney and so that is so that is exactly what we're encouraging people to do that. Do not. Immigration has to Mitt do its job to be sure that they are and either initiate a deportation proceedings but you have very fundamental rights. And do not sign anything. Immediately call your attorney were meeting Cole we love want to make sure that they can fight you deportation especially if you have a defense. We are global nation or has your question should recipients traveling with advance parole cancel their trips. Of the country what risks they take if an executive order concerning dock it takes place while they're away. It's a major risk. And that's exactly and tell my clients in some people on social media. Emailing me messaging me at this point we don't know the USC eight is processing advanced parole. As usual is processing Dhaka applications as usual. But you're absolutely right if present Donald Trump in his administration say we are going to stop. He can be very difficult people coming back and that ever and that's remember just the fact that you are given a reentry permit with advanced pearl doesn't mean. Did Doug and allow you to come back it is discretionary. So a Border Patrol agent at the Africans can simply say well you know what we don't want on the due back in. Because because of whatever recent. I'm so and that's what's up what we see even now dead because of Border Patrol sometimes don't even know what events poll is a what daka is so it's a major risk. They should people be complete pat be paralyzed. You know we shouldn't we shouldn't be powerless so it has some major important trip that deals professionally. You know if you believe there is very important. Go for it but be very have a plant with an attorney have a plan we have family have a plan we took community just in case something does happen that they all like to come back and if a doctor recipient believes he or she is wrongly detained there resource they can contact the legal representation. What this many resources out there now and I think that's been agreed responsible were seen so ACLU. As a new hotline. That they are they're responding to any type of detainment or any type of deportation proceeding. Legal aid our organization dream action coalition did. Define us as social media. In a world so and China with taking questions dispersed from people that happens. Also you know there's many many great organizations out there. Com but I think is just making sure that there's no substitute for having any planned including an attorney ever reliable attorney in the us immigration law. Season I talked earlier for peace for working on for Nightline coming up soon about this very issue and you have a a remarkable Baxter or yourself. Telling prefer that story about your mom brought you into the end secure five years old yet of that. So for me like I remember that experience and on the last day we were Mexico she came to pick me up from school Palestinian probably can the guardian and and my teacher came the city's air your mom's he's coming to get UN from yet I was just gonna go home but his Oklahoma she went to pick up my other siblings. And we went to his a church in the town square and she went there and started praying saying got what twelve hours to see the queen and most. Tom and I have a picture of the last day that we were there and in that pictures me my siblings. And a plot and my mom's whole in a plastic bag in that bag she had everything to start new lives no luggage no carry on. Just that plastic bag and with that plus about the cross the border at night or anything could've happened to my mother. The heart courage was. Powerful our optimism was so great that she was willing to give everything with the hopes of one basing our family our son graduate from law school. And because of that courage. I was there with two graduate high school graduate college and graduate law school to become the first undock and return to opening a plane be admitted decreased that a New York. You're seeing and hearing those personal stories are so important in this conversation that people know someone. Then their view. About. Immigration changes and you the example of Femi or can. Yeah I know absolutely and you know we are seeing that when we talk about immigration or any issue for that matter. And we just hearing the news is very easy to be detached but when you start hearing the stories of your neighbor south. Are their children's friends of your spouse or your boyfriend girlfriend. It becomes personal and I think that's exactly. The power there are stories really have that we can now only change minds. But we can change hearts to ensure that people she the issue of immigration in a much more different light in the way this become. About our neighborhoods rather than about political issue. What do you say to those people discuss this earlier that there are good decent people and our nation who believe deeply. That if you're undocumented you should be placed at us. Well you know this of the same rhetoric that we heard when people are talking about the Irish the Italians Germans to Jews. People who we know many. Immigrants on docket immigrants from that time you know during the 1920 some of 180000. European nationals. Came here without documentation came here illegally and it was the same rhetoric so we are definition of what it who can come here who is legal. It's just a reflector of just a complex immigration system. But we should take away about. Who we are some nation we're a nation out of immigrants but we're also a nation of laws but also a nation of just lost there are going to reflect. Doug modern needs and I economic situation and we should in turn our back on our immigrant experience because that's exactly what we have our values and immigrants. Think he's going about an inning and that is give her best I give a big hug. Thank your for watch had a great day. Things perfect. Is someone shot the mom and value got it. My mother my mother passed away here's. And now have a story you have but certainly you know mom protect us and soloist on a recent say her name every day. And so I mean someone who has a strong connection with ammonia mustard. If take them. Just because as Pete right through it parties instantly. It's true like any business and everything that went to congress because illnesses and our relationship Thea and when people ask me this guy gets in DC public. Gazillion Erica we got very little com. From 30000 feet but he with Catholic school of Catholic school. Hardscrabble background at Arco conference about in the breakfast were like bullets. I think the people here you know here your mother's sacrifice you strike against woman. You know because there's narrative about people crossing the border now. And I can look at it is successfully. Tax and all buses lawyer. And and and the sacrifice is a moment. America apartment there there's certainly people commit bad intentions at Abu a deal with them. But a lot of people coming here as an and measures things it's as a parent you're there you'll do if you're good absolutely every got it. Exactly exactly nine arena for me I know we have you know my mom has met with her mom you know she's she's a little activist ourselves in she needs people at. We are asked to rate changes to hold the whole tone changes and when you bring and that's exactly what we do with our abacus you know we're bringing it at the very very neighborhood level you know I thought about Washington big rally. It's about talking directly to your neighbors and you know a stand on were working with former police officers who are like. I don't know this was his sister was happening so. I thought it when a because personal when he becomes exactly that it's about just you know the boys have become but you know our friends. It's a whole defended than ours is a difference is absolutely right. There's so what's your reaction in it where it got things that would. All ours is volatile and the essence so we're doing a segment Nightline which is a start tomorrow. We'll go around the country last question I just decided we're sitting here chatting that we should I start doing so would forever and people know they. So three questions. What he grateful for wine tell me a story so first question tell me something you're grateful. I'm grateful that my mother took that brave decision to cross and US Mexico border to give me a better life. And because because of harsh sacrifice that was hit with two. Graduate high school graduate law school and become the first on back returned to be openly admitted this great state. And it means a lot because one of the most important things that she tells me. There really reflects why am here that no one day when. My carries high school at his cousin told me about. My immigration says they couldn't go to college because how with illegal. All my mom Thomas Junta sold just a simple Russell. Another door opens and that's from me tells me that when live close door on you is not telling you you're not good enough. Life is tell you this in millions or keep looking keep looking for your path this going to be for you. And he'll be years years since they graduated from law school. You know I've been. Meaning congressional Hughes had been speaking with the press the United States an endorser for those doors shut. Set in my face I would not have been here and I wouldn't have been this this trajectory which some live in my mom's American dream. Most awesome moment he's an amazing amazing house thank you scum like combat person to thank you so much thanks us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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