STOCKTON (CBS) – President Donald Trump has ordered the end of the program that has protected tens of thousands of young individuals from deportation.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, was an executive action by President Barack Obama to allow undocumented youth to live and work in the United States.
Tuesday’s decision will impact many families living in Stockton.
Almost a third of the city’s population is foreign-born, and like many state and local leaders, Mayor Michael Tubbs also spoke out saying the decision to end DACA goes against our American values and ideals.
Maria Nabarro, 22 is holding back tears as she talks about DACA. It has helped keep her in the United States legally for the last five years.
“I don’t think I’ve given myself time to process, but I know it’s uncertain just like my feelings right now so, yeah a lot of uncertainty, unfortunately,” she said.
Nabarro is attending college and says she has contributed to the U.S. through education, work and paying taxes. Nabarro says the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA feels as if the country she has only known and loved has turned its back on her.
“Since the beginning, I have been isolated and DACA included me in some sense, but I knew it was a band-aid that was going to be stripped off one day,” she Nabarro.
Rescinding DACA means the work permit given to these so-called dreamers will no longer be valid and nearly 800,000 young people won’t have protection from being deported. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called president Obama’s DACA program unconstitutional, but immigration lawyers disagree.
“I think the argument is the program, the executive action went beyond what the president is able to do with his executive action, that what he did should have been done by congress. So, that is the argument this administration is using,” said Bianca Duenas, an immigration attorney.
While the Department of Homeland Security will stop processing new DACA applications, it will continue to renew permits for anyone whose status expires in the next six months, as Congress out a solution.
“I’ve heard a lot of mixed emotions. I know personally several people who are on the receiving end of DACA and the issue goes beyond the repeal because they also have their contact information and their personal information of where they are, so…that’s a worry to myself,” said Alejandro Carrillo, a community organizer.
Immigration lawyers recommend people be informed on what their rights are and what protections exist for them with or without DACA.
The Mexican consulate is hosting an informational session for people Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in Sacramento.
Join the conversation. Follow CBS13 on Facebook