FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – President Trump announced to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) within the next six months. The DACA program is aimed to protect people who came to United States as children illegally.
This decision could affect around 800,000 people in the United States. 24,000 of those people live in Georgia.
“If they cancel the whole process then we will be with no protection. They can deport us at any time,” said Dreamer, Jorge Buenrostro.
He came to the United States illegally with his mother in 2006, at 10 years old.
“I really didn’t have a choice, they (his parents) had to make the choice for me,” said Buenrostro.
Buenrostro and hundreds of thousands of people in the United States may now face consequences for those choices.
“The only reason why my mom had to make that choice, was because she was looking at the future, my future,” said Buenrostro.
Not wanting her son to grow up where gangs and violence ran the city, Buenrostro’s mother had to make a decision that would change their lives forever. They crossed the U.S. border.
“I felt traumatized,” said Buenrostro. “After all of that happened, I had depression for about more than 2 years because of that. Having flashbacks, having nightmares of everything that happened on the border.”
Once he was in the United States, Buenrostro enrolled in school, not knowing an ounce of English. The language barrier did not stop him. He graduated from Bibb county’s Westside High School with a dream to go to college.
“It was just a dream basically and it kept being a dream until Obama decided to sign the executive action,” said Buenrostro.
In Septemeber of 2012, Buenrostro applied for DACA.
“I had fear that what if I don’t get approved and I get deported, but at the same time I was thinking, what if I don’t apply,” said Buenrostro. “It was that fear but that want.”
$465, a stack of applications, documents, and 5 months later, Buenrostro was approved.
Four years later, Buenrostro is working full time to pay for college and volunteering, all thanks to DACA.
According President Trump’s decision, DACA recipients with permits set to expire before March 5, 2018, will get to reapply for another 2 years. President Trump is giving Congress a 6-month window to possibly save the policy.
Not knowing how Congress will choose to handle DACA, Buenrostro says he can’t help but wonder what will happen after 2019, when his permit expires, and he’s not protected.
“I won’t be able to do what I do now,” said Buenrostro. “It will just be devastating having to just leave. Everything I worked for will be for nothing.”