SAN DIEGO – Local DACA recipients are on pins and needles as the Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments on the legality of the Trump Administration discontinuing the program.
“I think the sense of fear has been ever present in my family.”
As thousands of rally in Washington DC, here in San Diego, DACA recipient, Itzel Maganda Chavez anxiously hopes for resolution after spending the last two years in limbo.
“I definitely experienced a lot of fear and anxiety growing up here. Due to the region in which we live -- being afraid of police, because it could’ve mean separation from my family.”
Like the other 800,000 so called “Dreamers,” Chavez was brought to the US by her parents when she was just 5 years old. And in 2012, under Obama Administration, she finally felt a sense of relief when she officially came under the protection of the DACA program. But that changed again, when President Trump announced that he was canceling the program.
“It’s an every day for me present fear – a lack of stability and I think that’s the worst for me, living life in increments,” Chavez said.
Irving Hernandez is in Washington, DC for the rallies. He has lived in San Diego since he was 5, and he graduated from SDSU with a degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2017.
“Since 2017 we have taken an oath as DACA recipients to no longer go back into the shadows,” Hernandez said. “Today when I was seeing this group of DACA recipients and attorneys coming down from the Supreme Court Steps, I saw exactly that - we will no longer be silent! This is our home!”
The hardship of losing his DACA status goes deeper than just a work permit.
“I had to watch my grandfather die on my smartphone. I hope to someday be able to travel to see his grave and return to San Diego."
The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on the future of the DACA program next year.