What Happens Now To Children Of DACA Recipients?

Published: Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 3:57pm
Updated: Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 4:06pm

(Photo courtesy of Angelica Hernandez)
Angelica Hernandez and Juan Amaya, with their daughters.

Angelica Hernandez and Juan Amaya are living the American Dream. They worked hard in school, paid their way through college and now both work as engineers in the Valley. Along the way, they fell in love, got married, bought a house and had two little girls, one who is 2 and a newborn who’s just 3 months old.

But neither of them could have done it without DACA, the Obama-era program that has protected so-called “Dreamers” from deportation since 2012.

We sat down with the couple recently to talk about the president’s decision to “phase out” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program this week. What does this mean for their children?

That is the question — and they don’t know the answer.

DACA recipients are all young — in order to qualify, they had to be under the age of 31 in 2012 when the program began. And they were all brought here by their parents when they were children. Under the program, they’ve been able to get work permits for jobs, go to college, and get driver’s licenses for the first time.

And now many of them have children of their own — who are U.S. citizens. So the Trump administration’s announcement this week to end the program has left them grappling with some serious questions about the future of their families.

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