LUBBOCK, Texas — After five months of the Trump Administration suspending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a federal judge has reinstated it — protecting over 600,000 young immigrants from deportation. On Tuesday, DACA recipients from Texas Tech spoke on how they’re feeling about this decision.
“We always, we know, it’s gonna be a long fight,” said former DACA recipient Saba Nafees. “And it has been, it shouldn’t be a fight, it should just be common sense. But unfortunately, it’s not.”
DACA, short for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an Obama-era program that protects its recipients, or Dreamers, from deportation. DACA provides a two-year work permit that recipients have to apply for and pay hundreds of dollars to renew.
“None of this is over yet. We still have a lot more to go. We have to legislate and get a solution out,” said Nafees. “As everybody on both sides of the aisle likes to say is we really did get a legislative solution to this problem. So, we hope that we can do that sometime very soon.”
The Trump Administration has taken various steps to dismantle the program since entering office, which has caused a lot of stress for those that rely on it.
“It just like upsets me because it’s like, it’s a slap in the face like, oh you guys are like paying taxes and doing all this good stuff for the country, but we’re not going to consider you part of us,” said Angelica, a DACA recipient who asked not to be identified due to her immigration status.
Angelica explained that she’s thankful for this victory but knows that the fight isn’t over.
“I wish there was like an easier pathway to get citizenship, not just be in a state of I just have a work permit like I wish it was a path to getting your citizenship,” she said.
The dreamers interviewed for this story are all a part of the university’s Define American chapter, an organization to bring the conversation on immigrants and identity home to their college communities. You can learn more about what they do here.