MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - President Donald Trump is expected to announce a decision on the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals or DACA program on Tuesday. The program protects from deportation more than 800,000 immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children.
The wait is causing anxiety for those taking part in the program.
“Everybody's worried and they want answers that we don't have yet,” said Yesenia Morales, who works at the Steven Thal Immigration and Nationality Law firm. “If DACA does get terminated, I can't imagine how my life is going to be.”
Morales first came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was just 11 years old. She said DACA has changed her life.
“It gave me the opportunity to look for a better job, to get a driver's license, a Social Security card,” she said. “I was recently approved to purchase my home. So it opened the doors for a better life.”
President Barack Obama instituted the program in 2012, after Congress failed to pass legislation protecting the so-called dreamers. President Trump promised to end the program while he was campaigning for the office, but by many accounts, is conflicted about what to do.
“The President's been very clear," said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary. "He loves people and he wants to make sure this decision is done correctly and so that's what he's doing now is finalizing that part.”
Several Republican Attorneys General have threatened to file a lawsuit opposing DACA. On the other hand, several Members of Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, believe the President should not end the program.
“I actually don't think that he should do that and I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix,” Ryan told WCLO Radio in Janesville, Wis.
Morales said Ryan’s statements make her hopeful a solution can be found.
“We won't lose hope until the end. Until we know for sure what is going to happen, but it does give us hope,” she said.
In the meantime, Thal’s firm is waiting for a final decision from the White House before advising clients on next steps.