Trump’s DACA Decision Has Dreamers Unsure Of Their Futures (HBO)


— The days leading up to Jeff Sessions’ DACA announcement were doubly anxious for Luis Cortes Romero Not only is he an immigration attorney with DACA clients, he’s also a DACA recipient himself

Before Cortes turned 2-years-old, his parents left Michoacán, Mexico, and migrated without papers to California, where they still live today He grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, playing in punk bands and exploring his Mexican roots, but feeling, always, like an American kid — Do you remember Mexico at all? — I do not I do not And so, I imagine Mexico how anybody else would imagine it who has never been there

And so, it’s interesting because some of my peers who were born here, raised here, will tell me more about Mexico than I know about it, and have experienced more of Mexico than I have — Cortes was in law school in Idaho when Obama announced DACA in 2012 Before DACA, he wasn’t sure what he would do with his law degree, but figured it would improve his opportunities It was DACA that allowed him to start working at a law firm as soon as he graduated, and five years later, he landed his first high-profile case: Daniel Ramirez Medina, the first DACA recipient detained under the Trump administration — Characterize for me what it’s going to mean if this goes away

— I think it’s going to be devastating It’s going to feel like such a loss In so many different ways And that loss is going to be coupled with a tremendous amount of fear — We are the immigrants! — We are the immigrants! — The mighty, mighty immigrants! — DACA has a lot of moving parts, but it essentially does two things: It promises young undocumented immigrants with a high school diploma and no significant criminal record that they will not be deported for two years

And, in that same period, it gives them work permits Even though they pay into Social Security, DACA recipients are not eligible for Medicaid, financial aid for college, or any other federal benefits — Of course not Of course not — On Tuesday morning, shortly before Sessions made his announcement, Cortes met with Cinthia Gutierrez, a DACA recipient who lives just outside Seattle

— Where you are working at now, is that something that they have brought up? Like, have they brought up your work permit before? — I did tell them, like, “Hey, this is going on,” “if this does end up happening,” you know… “I might not be able to work anymore” The owner just told me, like, “Don’t worry about it,” “we’ll worry about it when it gets here” “I really don’t want to lose you as an employee, you’re valued here” I was just like, “Well, I kinda wanted to mention it, because… it worries me” — No, yeah

Yeah — It scares me — When the time came for Sessions to deliver his statement, Cortes watched from a reception area in his office — The effect of this unilateral executive amnesty, among other things, contributed to a surge of minors at the southern border… — Oh my fucking God — …that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences

It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans… — What this announcement creates is a time bomb It’s a time bomb for Congress to act, otherwise people are going to start falling from this program— whether in six months or, you know, whatever that looks like It leaves all of these Dreamers, their lives, in the hands of political parties that they have no participation in And that’s a very, very scary thing Fuck

Source: Youtube


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AJ

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