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Trump administration to end DACA, local DREAMers react

Two students from local universities said they are afraid of what the Trump Administration will decide regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. 

The students are both undocumented and arrived in the United States when they were 12-and-4-years old. The program put in place in 2012 allows individuals who entered the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday to register to remain in the country, provided they pay a fee and meet certain requirements related to their education and criminal record.  

The program provides students protection from being deported and work permits. 

However, President Trump is expected to end the program that allows these two and over 800,000 others to study and work in the country. Reports came in Sunday night saying the Trump administration will give Congress six months to come up with legislation to allow the undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States.

An official announcement is set to come from the White House on Tuesday. 

By the numbers, there are currently 852,000 students enrolled in DACA, 10,580 of them are in Indiana, and 1,200 are right here in South Bend.

The students said they got into the country and their respective universities by having the grades and making it through all the tribulations. However, one of the DACA students in South Bend said she feels impotent.

"There's nothing I can do to change his mind," she said. 

Both of the students have to remain anonymous, fearing with the termination of the program comes deportation. 

"He will be pushing away a lot of well meaning people who want to make this country a better place," the other student said.

Luis Farga, a professor at the University of Notre Dame, said if the Trump administration ends this program it will not be a good decision.

"We're not making a smart investment decision," said Farga. "It is simply an example of our being willing to be punitive because we can be rather than because we have to be."

Just a day after his Inauguration, President Trump told ABC News the DREAMers "shouldn't be very worried." 

"I do have a big heart. We're going to take care of everybody," President Trump told ABC News' David Muir. 

These two students said not only will the deportation of the DREAMers tear families a part, it will also cause the country to lose money. They, along with the more than 800,000 other DACA students, pay close to $2 billion a year in taxes. 

"We don't get any benefits or healthcare," one student said. "And simultaneously we're being shunned just because people want to blame somebody for this imaginary problem." 

According to a recent study done by the Institute of Taxation Policy, undocumented students in Indiana contribute over $23 million in taxes. 

"In essence what we're doing is not giving ourselves the chance to grow as a country to be able to provide opportunities for this generation of DACA students and the subsequent generation," Farga said.

If President Trump decides to end DACA, ITEP reports the U.S. could lose close to $800 million in tax dollars. 

Until then, these two DACA fear for their family here in America and their future.

"If I get removed from this country, what happens to him, what happens to my child," one student said.


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