Young DACA recipients in East Texas are concerned for their future

Leticia Chavez is signed under DACA and she feels as if her life in limbo now that the program revoked. Tristan Hardy reports.

TYLER - Texas has the second highest number of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients in the country. The choice to terminate the program has sent a shock to young East Texas 'Dreamers', some are nervous at what might happen to them. CBS 19 interviewed Leticia Chavez, 24, a DACA recipient in Tyler. She's been under the program for five years. Chavez has graduated college and earned a job as a nurse. However, there's a concern for her life in East Texas because of DACA was revoked. 

"I came here when I was two years old," Chavez said. "So in a way, I was not born here but I consider this place my country." 

Chavez described Dreamers to be people's: nurses, teachers and neighbors. In comparison, she said they're not different from others. Thanks to DACA, Chavez was able to obtain a driver's license, get a social security and it helped land a job. 

CBS 19 previously shared a story about DACA the night before it was revoked. Comments from the Facebook page were shared with Chavez. One writer said the blame should be on undocumented immigrant's parents. The user then suggested they should "do the right thing, go thru the process of becoming United States citizens."

"When ever parents feel like they have a way to provide a better future for their family, they will do anything to be able to provide for their family," Chavez said. "You can't blame a parent for wanting a better future for their kid." 

Another Facebook user asked how come Dreamers didn't "start the path to citizenship as they became older adults?" 

"A lot of times you [an undocumented immigrant] have to be sponsored by a family member that is already a citizen," Chavez answered. 

She described the process to citizenship to be long and complicated. 

"Part of me feels like I'm an American," Chavez said. 

Due to the six month delay before cancellation of DACA. Recipients are reminded to continue renewing their status. DACA would end in March, 2018. However, the issue is expected to be addressed by congress well before then. 

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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