Central Valley "Dreamers" nervously wait President Trump's decision on DACA

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Nearly one million young people in the U.S. - including about 20,000 here in the Central Valley - are waiting for President Trump to decide their future on Tuesday. (KFSN)

Nearly one million young people in the U.S. - including about 20,000 here in the Central Valley - are waiting for President Trump to decide their future.

The president is expected to announce his plans for the DACA program early next week. Also known as the Dream Act, DACA stands for deferred action for childhood arrivals, that is to say immigrant children who were brought into the country illegally by their parents.

Former President Barack Obama created the program so they could legally work and go to school in the only country most have ever known. If President Trump repeals it, they fear deportation.

"I came here when I was three months old, I came here from Jalisco, Mexico with my parents," America Hernandez said.

Hernandez is what's known as a "Dreamer." She grew up in Fresno, and thanks to the Dream Act, she went to college, got a job, bought a house and now worries that it could all end with the stroke of Donald Trump's pen.

"You don't know if tomorrow, you are going to be deported," she said. "You don't know if they are going to take away your house, your job."

Hernandez is not alone. There are 800,000 young people protected by DACA. Fresno City Council Member Esmerelda Soria estimates 20,000 live in the Fresno area alone.

"And guess what? They are contributing to our local economy, they have become educators," she argued. "I know attorneys. I know lawyers that are DACA."

The presidential threats to end the DACA program have those like America nervous.

"With DACA, there was a little bit more stability, but if it gets taken away, you go back to that whole uncertainty every day of what's going to happen and you have to prepare for the worst," she said.

Soria says it's time for the community to pull together behind these young people.

"There's not much that we can do as council members but it is a chance for us to stand together to demonstrate we are supportive of these people, of these young people that have been in our community for many years," Soria said. "And we shouldn't be punishing these kids because they didn't decide to come here to this country."

And despite the fear and anxiety, many are now feeling, America says she's staying strong.

"It's not the time to cry, it's not the time to get sad, it's the time we need to fight and push on," she said. "And that's the most important thing we can take from this we need to fight, we are not going to give up."

The President's position isn't clear. He's vowed to deport Dream Act recipients then later he said he loved the Dreamers. He's acting next week because 10 states have threatened filed suit against the federal government alleging the Dream Act is unconstitutional.

But many members of Congress want to keep the measure in place while they draw up new legislation. The president's decision comes Tuesday.
Related Topics:
politicsimmigration reformpoliticsfresnoFresno
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