(KMSP) - They came to the U.S. illegally at a young age and were protected from deportation. Now, according to the Associated Press, hundreds of thousands of people are at risk as President Trump decides to end a program known as DACA. His plan is expected to include a six-month delay.
Over the past few days, immigration attorneys feared the president would cancel DACA on Tuesday, when hundreds of people are expected to take to the streets in protest here in Minneapolis.
“Most of us have lived half of our lives or more here…there are so many of us who can’t remember being somewhere else,” said Juventino Meza, an outspoken DACA recipient who’s lived in St. Paul for more than 15 years.
He came here from Mexico as a young teenager with his parents. As part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Meza was able to attend Augsburg College and now law school.
The 29 year old hopes to become a judge, but his future is now on hold.
"Those of us who applied for the program came forward in good faith to the federal government, and we gave information like school records and how long we've been here," he said.
Meza is now helping to organize a solidarity rally in Minneapolis on Tuesday as President
Trump is expected to cancel the controversial program.
Meza says they will march to the state's GOP, swing by the Hennepin County sheriff's office and
end at the office of Senator Amy Klobuchar, who has been supportive of DACA.
“Immigration is a complex issue. I trust Minnesotans would want to get in the weeds and try to understand how complex the issue is, but there are solutions,” he said.
DACA was implemented by the Obama administration to offer amnesty to immigrants if they were brought to the U.S. as children and met strict security guidelines.
During the campaign, Trump railed against DACA, calling it unconstitutional, but delayed taking action against it for months.
Now, Republican officials filed a lawsuit urging Trump to take action. The president has reportedly made up his mind--putting 800,000 people in jeopardy.
"[This] includes 6,300 individuals in Minnesota, so if their work authorization is terminated immediately that means 800,000 people are no longer able to go to work or go to school,” said immigration attorney Ana Pottratz Acosta.