DACA recipient pleads for program to stay
Last week, the Trump Administration announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA. The program's fate along with hundreds of thousands of people now lie in the hands of congress, which can choose to protect DACA within the next six-months or terminate it, leaving thousands of people who were in the program jobless.
At this point Diego Corzo said it's nothing short of a waiting game for him.
He along with nearly 800,000 people still don’t know where they stand now that the Trump Administration has decided to end the DACA. Corzo said he migrated to the United States nearly 18 years ago.
"When I was 9-years-old with parents and my little brother and we came here on a visa,” said Corzo.
He said Dreamers are kids who were brought to the U.S. and didn't have a choice.
Corzo said he didn't understand the benefits of DACA until he got older. "It doesn't really hit you what it means to be undocumented until you turn 16 or 18 and you're trying to get a driver's license," he said.
Benefits Corzo said are necessary. "It allows the Dreamers to have a social security number and work with a work permit and gives us a driver's license," said Corzo.
He said program recipients contribute vastly to the American economy.
"What will happen if there is a DACA teacher? And kids go to class March 6th and teachers aren't allowed to work. It’s going to impact a lot of society whether they work as engineers, nurses, lawyers and doctors,” said Corzo. But still Corzo said undocumented immigrants who are apart of DACA face negative misconceptions.
"A lot of people think that we the Dreamers steal their jobs but we earn our way. A lot of people think that the Dreamers are freeloaders and that immigrants are freeloaders," said Corzo.
According to data collected in an online survey by the Center for American Progress, a majority of DACA recipients are employed, and almost half of them are currently in school.
"At the end of the day we are all Americans trying to achieve that American dream," he said.
The Trump Administration has given congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the government stops renewing permits for people already covered by the program. "I am hopefully that at least in the next six months we actually get a path to citizenship and help America become a greater nation."