DACA recipients speak out on Trump’s decision to cancel the DACA policy
Jerusalem Solomon, Staff Writer and Tracie Clyne, Editor.
Two sisters that are currently attending Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Daisy, and Valeria Lara, are recipients of DACA, just like 800,000 other people living in the United States. Daisy is a nursing major and this is Valeria’s third year at Anoka-Ramsey. Daisy and Valeria want Anoka-Ramsey students to be aware of these recent developments with the program.
Five years ago, former President Barack Obama enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows undocumented immigrants who entered the US as minors to stay in the country. In September, President Trump announced that he intended to repeal the DACA program.
Although these individuals can stay in the country, they do not have access to the same resources that U.S. citizens do. For example, they cannot apply for federal financial aid.
“I don’t get any help,” said Valeria, “which makes me really frustrated.” Two-thirds of full-time college students receive some kind of financial aid. DACA recipients can fill out the FAFSA to show their need for financial assistance, such as work-study and local scholarships.
The DACA program allows recipients to receive a permit that is renewable every two years, allowing the individual to work while remaining in the country.
“We are happy though because we have the opportunity to work,” Valeria said. “It’s not free to get a work permit and you have to renew your work permit every two years,” said Daisy. When you have to renew your work permit, you have to pay a $500 application fee and you must maintain a clean record.
“My brother had a speeding ticket and it took longer to get the work permit,” Daisy said.
DACA recipients enjoy their opportunity to make a life for themselves in the United States, however, the work permit is the most assistance the recipients can get.
Both are worried that if Trump and his administration continue with canceling the DACA program, that they will be unable to get a job in the future.
“I won’t become a nurse, and all that tuition I paid for will be a waste,” commented Daisy.
The rescission of this program has been delayed for six months to allow Congress time to decide what to do with the people that were eligible for DACA.
“Some people say ‘why don’t you just go back to Mexico?’” Valeria said.
“What am I supposed to do in Mexico, I don’t know anything. I have only been to Mexico when I was one,” said Daisy.
If President Trump and Congress repeal DACA, thousands of people may potentially be deported.