One of Donald Trump’s presidential policy proposals is to provide no pathway to legal status for any undocumented immigrant, even “DREAMers.” Hillary Clinton’s vision is just the opposite.
Whoever is elected, there will be an impact in South Texas.
DREAMers are undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Many people, both Republican and Democrat, support some legal status for them. But the GOP nominee says that every immigrant, no matter who they are, will have to leave the country and apply for legal entry under his administration.
That would include people like DREAMer Mario Perez Reyes. His parents are undocumented and brought him to the United States when he was just 6-months-old.
Now, he’s a UTSA student and says that his dream is to continue to pursue his bachelor’s degree in sports medicine so that he can be a physical therapist in the sports injury department.
In 2012, President Barack Obama offered young immigrants like Mario a way to come out of the shadows. Obama issued an executive order, saying that feds wouldn’t deport DREAMers, which include:
Immigrants brought to the U.S. when they were 15-years-old or younger
Have lived in the U.S. before 2007
Are in school or serving in the military
Do not have a criminal record
Mario is part of that program, known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
“It’s really impacted my life in a way that words can’t describe,” he said.
Donald Trump renewed calls to end DACA for DREAMers.
“Cancel all President Obama’s executive order,” he said in his speech.
That kind of rhetoric brings the worry of deportation to people like Mario, especially since his presence is the country is known to the federal government.
“I just hope for the best and leave it in God’s hands,” Mario said.
“I think it’s something that really frightens people and really discourages people from applying because there is uncertainty about what happens,” said Manog Govindiaah, a RAICES immigration attorney.
RAICES, which is an immigration non-profit in Texas, says that some 300,000 DREAMers are in the state. Only about a third have applied for legal status. RAICES believes that it’s because of a fear of deportation.
(© 2016 KENS)