WSU Tri-Cities DACA students react to Trump Administration ending the program
RICHLAND, Wash. — Tuesday morning the Trump Administration announced the end of DACA. The program protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children from deportation and gives them the ability to work.
“We came here as children. It wasn’t because we chose to but now that we’re here and we’ve contributed so much to this country. This is our home,” said DACA recipient and WSU Tri-Cities Engineering student Maria Torres.
She is one of nearly 800,000 recipients across the U.S. unsure of their fate. Washington state is home to more than 17,000 recipients.
“What if we get deported after this? They have all our information,” said Gloria Van Egdom, DACA recipient.
Van EgEdom and Torres are part of the Dreamers Club at WSU Tri-Cities. They discussed today’s decision at their meeting.
“You just question his leadership,” said Dreamers Club member Isaac Mercado about President Trump. “Is he really our president? Is he standing up for us?”
Their future is now in the hands of Congress. The House and Senate were given 6 months to agree on a replacement, a task they’ve struggled with for years.
The Dreamers Club said it’s not just about them, but their families.
“They work so hard and then all of a sudden a decision like this,” said Cristina Villanueva.
Many of the DACA students at WSU are graduating with degrees they don’t know if they will be able to use.
“Am I even going to be able to keep working as an engineer or am I going to have to go back to what I said that I would never go back to, which for many of us is working in the orchards,” said Torres.
The administration will not consider new DACA applications dated after Sept. 5. Some Dreamers with permits that expire between Sept. 5 and March of 2018 can apply for a two year renewal by Oct. 5.
For others, their legal status could end as early as next March.