DACA program marks five-year anniversary with uncertain future - Tucson News Now

DACA program marks five-year anniversary with uncertain future

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects some from deportation, turned five years old Tuesday, Aug. 15.

DACA was signed by President Obama by executive order in 2012.

Under the order, under certain circumstances, people brought to the United States as children would not face deportation.

It has been under attack by the GOP since the day it was signed and is likely the closest it's ever been to repeal.

There are 800,000 people, often called Dreamers, who are protected by the program. Each could face deportation if the order is rolled back.

The Attorney General of Texas and nine other states have threatened a lawsuit against the Trump Administration if it is not.

They have given the administration until Sept. 5 to roll it back but there has been no hint from Washington as to whether it will.

However, the Deferred Action for Parents, a protection for parents who have children in the program, was rolled back in June.

At a news conference held Tuesday, Rep. Raul Grijalva said there are efforts in Congress to make DACA law.

"We talk about providing security for members of our community," he said. "That includes immigrant families, that includes DACA."

Whether that will happen soon enough is still up in the air.

26 year old Jessica Rodriquez was brought to the U.S. by her family when she was 13 from Chihuahua, Mexico.

She is now a university junior majoring in business and is certain DACA will survive. 

"Because we are doing the right things to protect our communities." she said. 

Her community is not just her family or Tucson, but the entire community of Dreamers a well, who support each other with group sessions, phone calls and whatever is needed.

She said she does fear deportation, which could be the ultimate result, but says she would be a foreign person in a foreign land if she was.

"This is the place that I know as home," she said. "This is where my family is, where my friends are, this is a place I know."

Because she's a Dreamer she's allowed in-state tuition to attend the university.

She says it that is taken away from her, she would pay three times as much and not be able to afford college. She's hoping to get an MBA.

But as a Dreamer, she says "I can apply for jobs, I can buy a car, I xcan get a driver's license, I can drive without breaking the law or the fear of being stopped by border patrol and police."

As for Grijalva, it will be an uphill battle. 

"Just like many other issues dealing with immigration, it has been a constant source of political attacks by the Trump Administration and the GOP agenda," he said. 

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