The Magnet Tribune

Dreamers concerned about impact of DACA’s end

Former+VMT+student+Jesus+Hernandez%2C+now+at+TAMIU%2C+is+concerned+about+the+end+of+DACA.+%22I+came+to+the+United+States+when+I+was+4+and+I+thought+I+was+a+regular+American+boy.+So+now%2C+I+don%E2%80%99t+know+what+will+become+of+my+future%2C%22+he+told+The+Magnet+Tribune.
Former VMT student Jesus Hernandez, now at TAMIU, is concerned about the end of DACA.

Former VMT student Jesus Hernandez, now at TAMIU, is concerned about the end of DACA. "I came to the United States when I was 4 and I thought I was a regular American boy. So now, I don’t know what will become of my future," he told The Magnet Tribune.

The Magnet Tribune: Courtesy of Jesus Hernandez

The Magnet Tribune: Courtesy of Jesus Hernandez

Former VMT student Jesus Hernandez, now at TAMIU, is concerned about the end of DACA. "I came to the United States when I was 4 and I thought I was a regular American boy. So now, I don’t know what will become of my future," he told The Magnet Tribune.

Kevin Garcia, Staff Writer

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“Jane,” who said she has never been to Mexico, is worried about her future.

“I have lived in Laredo ever since I was a child, I’ve never been to Mexico, I have a family here now, I have my own house, I pay taxes just like any other American who lives in the U.S, ” Jane, not her real name, said.

Jane, now an adult who falls under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, is one of many who may face problems since the Trump Administration ended the program Sept. 5.

“The way that DACA affected me was that I was allowed to obtain a valid driver license and it allowed me to go to college. But now since the program was taken away by the Trump Administration I’m scared that I might be deported to Mexico,” she said.

Well, under DACA I was able to get a work permit, get a driver’s license and just, in general, be an average American.”

— Jesus Hernadez

According to Immigration Equality website, DACA was created to assist some people who are now in the U.S.

“On June 15, 2012, President Obama created a new policy calling for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children. Applications under the program which is called Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (“DACA”) began on August 15, 2012,” according to the website.

To be eligible, applicants had to have arrived in the US before age 16 and have lived there since June 15, 2007. They could not have been older than 30 when the Department of Homeland Security enacted the policy in 2012, the website states.

People who fall under this program are commonly known as “dreamers.”

Dr. Pablo Arenaz, president of Texas A&M International University, issued a statement to The Magnet Tribune about the DACA program being terminated.

“As a public institution, we abide by all federal and state laws. Because we do not track information regarding the immigration status of our students, we cannot say how many might be affected by changes to the DACA program,” the statement said. “We will continue to foster a safe, welcoming learning environment for students from diverse backgrounds seeking to expand their opportunities through education. As a general rule, we cannot provide students with individual legal counsel, but we encourage those who need it to seek outside assistance.”

“Lesly,” a high school student, said she didn’t care about the end of the DACA program.

“DACA does not affect me, and I could really care less if they get rid of it. If you want to live in America then do it the right way, not come over illegally and get citizenship, not get a pass. If you came over as a little kid then your parents have had plenty of time to get it or try to get citizenship,” Lesly, who did not want to be identified, said.

The way that DACA affected me was that I was allowed to obtain a valid driver license and it allowed me to go to college.”

— Jane

Luis Gutierrez, a cashier at JC Penny at Mall Del Norte, said DACA gave him an opportunity to work and to study.

“The way I see it is that DACA had helped me get a job and for me to attend college at Texas A&M International University. When I was four I had moved to Laredo with my mom and my two sisters. At first, we didn’t know what was going on because we were kids. We never thought we were labeled as immigrants,” he said.

He is concerned about how his life could change because of DACA ending.

“For years, I have been working hard to get my bachelor’s degree to become a teacher for AP history, and I heard about the news that DACA was officially terminated.  I’m worried that me and my two other sisters might be deported. I’m an American just like everybody else. I help my community by helping at the Bethany House in downtown Laredo,” he said.

Jesus Hernandez, a former VMT student who is now attending Texas A&M International University, spoke about his situation under DACA.

The way I see it is that DACA had helped me get a job and for me to attend college at Texas A&M International University.”

— Luis Gutierrez

“Well, under DACA I was able to get a work permit, get a driver’s license and just, in general, be an average American,” he said.

Hernandez is concerned about his hopes and dreams disappearing.

“I used to be afraid of just people finding out I was undocumented. When I heard about the Trump Administration ending the program I was completely disappointed. All those hopes and dreams I had sort of vanished. This whole 6 month waiting period for the program to end has my future in a limbo,” he said.

Hernandez was unsure if he would stay in the U.S. or be returned to Mexico.

“Will I be allowed to stay? Or will I have to get deported and go back to a country I barely even remember? I came to the United States when I was 4 and I thought I was a regular American boy,” Hernandez said. “So now, I don’t know what will become of my future. I don’t want to return to those days where I had to live in the shadows.”

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Dreamers concerned about impact of DACA’s end