INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – After months of speculation, it appears President Donald Trump will be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or “DACA.”
DACA is an Obama-era program that protects the children of those who have entered the country illegally. The Program currently protects roughly 800,000 people.
The President is expected to make an announcement on his decision sometime Tuesday. Ahead of that announcement, those whose fates hang in the balance are speaking out.
Rosa Angeles, 18, and Sandy Rivera, 20 are two beneficiaries of the DACA program living in Indiana. Both were brought to the U.S. before they were 5 years old and remember very little, if anything at all, of their lives before entering the United States.
“There will be times where I have dreams of what I do remember, but it’s very vague and feels very distant,” Rivera said.
Now, they say the futures they imagined for themselves are in jeopardy. Part of President Trump’s plan to end the program reportedly includes a 6-month delay to allow congress time to figure out a replacement. Rivera and Angeles say a replacement that would allow them to stay is their only hope for allowing them to pursue their dreams.
“We’re not criminals, we’re not here taking your jobs. We’re just here to try and excel. And become better in the community,” Rivera said.
“DACA helped me believe that I had something to look forward to. Something that said I can go to college and progress myself and be something,” Angeles said.
Both women say they hope that through this process Congress, and the rest of the country, will see them for the people they are, and not as another statistic or number in a program registry.
“I am a dreamer. Not a number on a permit, not a social security number which I was fortunate enough to be given, none of that. I’m a dreamer, and I’m someone who’s here in this country to better herself,” Rivera said.
Both women say part of their dreams include getting a college degree. Rosa wants to be a social worker, and Sandy is currently studying at IUPUI to be a teacher. Both women’s DACA permits are set to expire in 2018.