DENVER (KDVR) — Local Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients reacted with skepticism to recent developments from the White House on the immigration policy.
Last week, President Donald Trump told Telemundo he is working on an executive order that would include a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients. On Tuesday, during a press briefing at the White House, the president said he would be taking care of DACA.
“I’m going to be signing immigration action, very big merit-based immigration action,” the president went on to say.
The news has Tania Chairez questioning her status in the country.
“Just to throw around words as if they are meaningless — when to my family it means the world if someone just even waves a little flag that says you might have citizenship,” said Chairez.
Chaivez lives in Denver and is enrolled in DACA. The program protects her from deportation since her parents brought her to the U.S. illegally from Mexico when she was a child. The program also allows her to legally work and study in the U.S.
She said the phrase ‘merit-based’ made her nervous. She is concerned that would mean stricter restrictions on who qualifies for DACA. Chairez has been arrested for blocking a road during an immigration protest.
“Something as simple as that — using my right to protest — can be seen as a negative thing,” said Chairez. She said under the current rules, she still qualified for DACA because the charges were dropped. She fears the arrest itself could become a problem under a new set of qualifications.
Ana Rodriguez is also a DACA recipient in Denver who said she wants to see an end to uncertainty over the program.
“I don’t understand why he is trying to come up with a new solution and a new program if it has allowed me and many other people successfully be able to work for years now,” said Rodriguez.
The news comes after the U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected the White House’s attempt to dismantle the program.
Trump said the executive order could come in the next four weeks.