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Area 'dreamers' hope DACA benefits stay intact

President Trump is considering dissolving DACA
Posted at 11:20 PM, Sep 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 23:35:59-04

President Trump is expected to announce the end of the "Dreamers" program. But it wouldn't happen for six months. An official announcement is expected Tuesday.   

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program (DACA) allows protections for young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

The 2012 Obama era-initiative has granted a reprieve from deportation and work permits for 800,000 people.

"I'm worried because that's the only document that allows me to work," said one Dreamer who only wanted to be identified as Cheryl.

She's just one of the thousands of recipients who are unsure of their future.

"I'm a student. I'm majoring in criminal justice and that would really hurt me a lot if it's removed," she said.

She, like so many others rallying to keep DACA intact, are worried because America is the only country they know.

"I was basically raised here so if I get sent back to my country, I don't know nothing about what's going on over there. I grew up here," said Cheryl.

Pat Shannon Jones is the executive director of the Immigration Outreach Center. She says she's been hearing the fear for a while.

"Since the inauguration because we've been hearing rhetoric and we've been hearing negative comments and we've been seeing executive orders and the DACA recipients have just been waiting for that to filter down to them," she said.

President Trump is expected to delay the formal dismantling of DACA to allow Congress to fashion legislation protecting Dreamers, many of whom wouldn't have an opportunity otherwise.

"I love school, I love studying, I believe in education.  That was the reason I was brought to this country to get a better education," Cheryl said. 

She hopes the president will hear her plea.

"Think about the consequences it's a lot of young people that are studying on their DACA and they're really great people with goals and dreams don't kill their dreams and goals."

Nothing is definite and the president could change his mind as he's been wrestling for months with the DACA initiative. The number of DACA eligible people in Maryland is 34,000.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to hold a briefing Tuesday morning.