DACA Program Ending, Affects Thousands of Students on the South Plains

LUBBOCK, TX - In a press conference this morning, the White House announced the end of the DACA program. This program, which stands for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allowed the children of undocumented immigrants to live, work and go to school in the United States without the fear of being deported. 

A Lubbock immigration lawyer estimates that more than 1,000 people will be affected on the South Plains alone. 

"The program known as DACA that was effectuated in the Obama administration is being rescinded," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a press conference. 

This Obama-era program which has been running for five years allowed children of immigrants to live a normal life while growing up. These students are nicknamed "dreamers" and many of them have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives. 

"What people don't realize is that us DACA recipients, we didn't have a choice," said DACA student Vanessa Carreon. "We were here since we were two, three years old, we didn't have a choice."

Carreon is one of thousands who will be affected by the removal of DACA. 

"You kind of want to feel betrayed because this is all you know as your home," Carreon said. "This is where I grew up, this is where my family and friends are. But you can't feel betrayed because you've known this, you know you're not a citizen."

Congress has six months to pass new legislature. If nothing is done, more than 800,000 undocumented immigrants could face deportation. 

"I grew up having all these goals and dreams and I'm expecting them to become a reality here in the U.S.," Carreon said. "I never thought of going to school in Mexico."

They're hopeful Congress will use the six months to pass a law in these students favor. 

"We expect Congress to pass legislation that not only allows them to stay in the country and keep working but gives them a pass to legal residency," said immigration lawyer, Paola Ledesma. 

"This is our country, our home, this is all we know," said Carreon. 

We reached out to the Lubbock Republican party but they were unable to comment at this time. 

 

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