Dozens of immigration advocates and supporters attend a rally outside of Trump Tower along Fifth Avenue on August 15, 2017 in New York City.

"They gave me wings and now they’re gonna cut them off": 10 Dreamers consider what they’ll do if DACA ends

"They gave me wings and now they’re gonna cut them off": 10 Dreamers consider what they’ll do if DACA ends

The five-year-old DACA program has allowed nearly one million young undocumented immigrants to live without fear of deportation. They’ve stepped out of the shadows to work and study, start their own businesses, and access healthcare and bank accounts. Here, in their own words, 10 Dreamers consider the unthinkable: what they’ll do if Trump ends the program.

Dozens of immigration advocates and supporters attend a rally outside of...
Dozens of immigration advocates and supporters attend a rally outside of Trump Tower along Fifth Avenue on August 15, 2017 in New York City.

Lea esta nota en español.

When President Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program in June 2012, the lives of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants changed overnight.


Brought to the U.S. as children, they had grown up undocumented, unable to access the things that most Americans take for granted, like a driver’s license, financial aid or a job. Many had arrived to the United States before they even registered their first memories of their birth countries, and for years were not aware they were undocumented. Many discovered that fact only when they went to get a license or apply for college.

Five years after DACA began, nearly 800,000 Dreamers are benefitting from the program, living as doctors, teachers, truck drivers, students, bankers, chefs. They’re buying homes and raising children, without worrying about deportation.

But DACA is under threat, with rumors that President Trump may end the program as soon as this week. A group of Republican officials has pledged to sue the federal government if Trump doesn’t end DACA by Sept. 5.

As they await a decision, 10 Dreamers tell Univision what they would do if DACA ends.

“I may have to go back to the almond fields”

“We are trying to do exactly what we were told to do: live the dream. I started to live my dream and it’s about to turn into a nightmare. I have always wanted to succeed, always move on and improve myself. But I wasn’t able to until DACA. I was a manager for AutoZone. With DACA I started a trucking company. I succeeded in what I wanted to do. I made a $70,000 investment in starting my own gig. If they take DACA, I won’t be able to have my license, my truck. I may have to go to the almond fields. I don’t want that. But if I’m going to end up in a low-end job again, my kids will suffer the consequences because I’ll have to send their mom back to work and my kids to the babysitter because I won’t be able to pay my bills on my own working in the fields. I’m really scared because I’m gonna lose everything. Making such an investment (in your own business) isn’t something you just do everyday. I’m still in debt for that, so I’m going to go more in debt. I’m worried. I’m scared to death. My wife tells me not to stress about it. She says ‘you’ve been there before, we’ll make it.’ I understand, but it just seems so unfair. I feel they gave me wings and now that I’m trying to fly, they’re gonna cut them off.”

Gabriel Morales, 33, lives in Modesto, California. Came to the U.S. from Michoacan, Mexico, when he was 6. His DACA permit expires in December 2019.

“Eventually I can be a teacher in El Salvador”

“My heart is broken because I worked so hard to get DACA. I have dreams that I haven't accomplished. DACA was one of my dreams, being able to have a decent job to help my family and be someone in life here where I can feel safe. I went to school here. I did everything the right way since I got here. I got DACA and was able to help my family and myself. I don’t want this day to come (when DACA ends). I have to face the reality, find out what’s gonna happen. If they take DACA away, I’m not going to have legal documents to work here. I won’t be able to get a job. I might get deported. If I get deported I have to go back to my country and start all over again there. But I am bilingual. Eventually I can be a teacher there. That’s my second plan. Over there I can teach in any school, I can be a bilingual teacher if this happens. I know it’s not gonna be the same, it will be totally different for me. I’ve been here for such a long time. I feel secure and safe here, and it’s very dangerous to live there. But I have to face the reality. I am heartbroken now, but I need to be strong.”

Sara Martinez, 25. Lives in Houston, Texas. Works at Wells Fargo. Came to the U.S. from El Salvador when she was 13. Her DACA expires in April 2018.
“If DACA ends it’s back in the shadows”

“I would lose everything pretty much, starting off with being a normal human being, my identity, my job, being separated from my five kids, my wife who I've known for 20 years; they are my life. And I do pretty much everything for them. It's going to be very hard for my wife to do everything alone but not impossible. It is something that might possibly happen and we are preparing and getting ready for this nightmare that's about to come. If DACA ends it’s back in the shadows and it’s not gonna be like before. It’s a matter of waiting for them to ring my doorbell. Living until that day happens … that’s not a way to live … not being able to do anything or even go outside. They look at you and then pull you over because they profile you. It’s not a way of life, you know? We have plans to buy a house. All those plans, you’ve got to put them on hold. I love this country, it has done so much for me. I don't know any other place but here. I wish they could give us a chance.”

Geovanny Reyes, 35, lives outside Atlanta, Georgia. Works at a manufacturing company. Came to the U.S. from Ecuador when he was 12. His DACA permit expires in three months.
“I will continue fighting with my community”

“Before, I wasn’t able to find a job that would accommodate my school. When I got my work permit I was able to go to school and work, to help my parents out with some of the expenses they had. I got health insurance for the first time. I go to the dentist and a doctor checks up on my health now. I have always been an activist. I used to live in Los Angeles but I had to move to Utah due to a family emergency and here it’s been hard to find a group that’s really out there working on immigration issues. The population where I live now, there’s a lot of racist people so it’s really hard for others to come out about their status. But some of my friends that live in California are planning events to fight for DACA and I am hoping to join even if it’s just on social media. I first got involved in immigration rights stuff when I was 14. Since then I’ve continued working with community organizations and been involved with other groups that focus on fighting for equality for undocumented students. I will continue fighting with my community. I refuse to go back in the shadows that I left 13 years ago when I first publicly admitted to being undocumented.”

Marina Cazares, 25, lives in Provo, Utah. She plans to move to Los Angeles next year, where she hopes to study sociology and Chicano/Chicana studies with a minor in Spanish at East L.A. College. She came to the U.S. when she was 10 from Mexico. Her DACA expires February 8, 2018.
“Just thinking about it is a nightmare”

“Before DACA I worked at a factory, for a really low wage. It was almost inhuman the way people work there. It was extremely tough. Most of the summer we had to work almost 12 hour shifts. It was tremendous, horrible. When I got my DACA, it opened a lot of doors for me. I was able to get my license, to get a good job working for the city. My husband has DACA too. In December we were finally able to buy a home. We’ve worked so hard to accomplish what we have. We haven’t sat down to plan and discuss what would happen if we were to lose DACA. We don’t want to think about that. Just thinking about it is a nightmare. We’re just hoping for the best right now. We would lose everything: The jobs we have, the freedom we have now, our home. I don’t even want to think about having to go back to that type of job. It would be a huge deal.”

Nancy Ruiz, 27, lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Arrived to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 5. Her DACA expires on September 26, 2017.

“If I can’t work, we’re going to have to emigrate”

"I work to detect cancer in laboratories at the University of Utah. I help a lot of people without them knowing because early diagnosis can save a life. DACA came when I was defending my master's thesis in molecular biology and for that reason I was able to accept the job that the laboratories offered me. My wife is Mexican, she has a student visa and is about to finish her degree in legal studies. We got married four years ago. We had a long-distance relationship because I couldn’t leave the country so she had to come visit every three months. When DACA came we decided to get married. We’re going to see how things go. The uncertainty is difficult. It’s unfair that they put us in this situation because we haven’t done anything wrong. If I can’t work, we’re going to have to emigrate. I’ve been here 20 years and I have grown for the better. We have a little girl who is two and it would be difficult to go back to working without papers, without knowing if they’re going to deport you or not. While I was in college I worked in a hotel. If I have to I can go back to doing that ... I mean, we have to eat, right? But if an opportunity comes up in another country, I think we’d have to leave. I’ve been in touch with some lawyers in Canada. I know the process and what I would have to do to apply.”

Edison Suasnavas lives in Utah. He came to the U.S. when he was 13, from Quito, Ecuador. He got DACA in 2013 and his permit expires in August 2018.
“My only plan is to get a lawyer”

“I'm nervous and I can’t sleep well. Every day I look at Google, I search for ‘DACA’ and I see what they are saying and what options I will have if it’s taken away. I watch the news and get goosebumps. I have many plans, and if they take this away they’ll be taking all my dreams. Here I have a five-year-old daughter and I am afraid that they will deport me and that my daughter will be left alone. I work with my dad landscaping and sometimes drive for Uber. My dad is also afraid that what we have on credit will be taken away. Right now I'm starting a job selling life insurance. I have to study to learn the business, but for that I need DACA. When I arrived I did not know the language. Everyone spoke to me in English and I did not know anything, I couldn’t say more than ‘yeah, yeah.’ My life changed a lot with DACA. Before, I was afraid to leave the house because of the raids where I live. I also got a driver's license. If they do take away DACA, I will no longer have a way to get to work or to study like a normal person. I'm going to have to walk or … I don’t know. My only plan is to get a lawyer, but not yet.”

Juan Carlos, 26, was born in Mexico City and came to the U.S. when he was 10. His DACA permit expires in 2018.
“I don't know how I would support myself and my children”

"I don't know what I would do if they eliminate DACA. I cannot imagine. I have work and they would throw it away. I don't know how I would support myself and my children. They depend only on me because I am a single mother. They are two and four years old. I work in a nursing home. I take care of older people. I give them baths, I take their blood pressure, I lift them from the bed, I feed them. After I finished high school I got my nurse assistant license. DACA changed my life, oh my God! Before I had DACA I could not get a job, I could not work legally and I had always wanted to do my taxes. I applied to DACA when I was in high school. I was still studying. I plan to go to college, get another degree, something more advanced, like nursing. If they remove DACA now, I will not be able to improve my future. "

Adenisse, 22, was born in Honduras and came to the U.S. when she was 12. Her DACA permit expires in 2019.
“The immediate plan would be to keep going, keep fighting”

“I was born with cerebral palsy. My parents came to the U.S. and left me in Ecuador when I was three years old, with my grandmother. I have two sisters who are Amercian citizens because they were born here. I came to New York when I was 14, without knowing the language and with many dreams and illusions. Despite my disability I graduated from high school with honors and then studied computer science. With DACA I was able to get my license, buy a car and have a beautiful apartment. With DACA I saw an opportunity to get out of the shadows, I was able to receive the therapies that were so necessary for my physical condition. DACA definitely changed my life. Now I am 26 years old and I am the mother of a three year old. I work for Uber, since that allows me to choose my schedule to be with my son. I do not really know what I would do without DACA. I trust and I have faith in God that all will be well. If they take (DACA) away, we must fight, we cannot cry. I will continue to look for another solution because I believe that in this life everything is a struggle, and you can't just wait for things to fall from the sky. All my life I've been a warrior and now I'm a mother. It is not in my plans to return to Ecuador because I already have a life here. This country is already mine. The immediate plan would be to keep going, to continue fighting. I'm scared, we're scared because we would be left with the uncertainty of being deported."

Sandra Martinez, 26, lives in New York. She was born in Ecuador and came to the U.S. since she was 14. Her DACA permit expires in August 2018.
"I do not know what I would do in a country I don't remember"

"The truth is that I do not know what I would do in Mexico, I do not know what I would do in a country I don't remember, I only remember being in my grandmother's house and nothing more. Before DACA I had no hope of continuing to study. I left secondary school because I did not have papers and because my family told me that I was wasting my time. And also from all the rumors that they would deport you the day of your graduation, that ICE would come. DACA gave me the opportunity to get my high school diploma and find a job that I really like as a social worker, helping our low-income community and listening to their stories. I'm going to start studying to be a dental assistant. Maybe DACA is not an immigration status, but it gave us the opportunity to see what life can be."

Lisbeht, 26, was born in Mexico City and lives in Oregon. She arrived to the U.S. when she was 8. Her DACA permit expires in 2019.
History of the Dreamer struggle: five years of DACA
Efraín Salazar, quien perdió su hogar en Morelos tras el fuerte terremoto que sacudió al país esta semana, dice que la ayuda del gobierno aún no ha llegado.
Leo Fariñas fue uno de los dos sobrevivientes de un salón de clases de la escuela Enrique Rébsamen. Sus padres piden que el futbolista Lionel Messi le envíe un mensaje a su hijo con la esperanza de que esto lo ayude a despertar.
Tres órdenes de expulsión que no cumplió pusieron al inmigrante guatemalteco al borde de la salida de Estados Unidos y preso durante 59 días en Adelanto, California. La abogada Noemí Rodríguez dijo que se le comunicó al Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) que Carías no representa amenaza para la comunidad y está ligado al país norteamericano.
La brigada de rescate ha estado presente para ayudar a las víctimas del terremoto que sacudió al país. Fernando Álvarez habla de cómo han sido estos días.
Una multitudinaria asistencia obtuvo este evento al que también acudieron Victoria Neave, representante del Distrito 107, y Elba García, comisionada del Distrito 4. Las líderes enfatizaron en la importancia de elegir buenos delegados políticos y luchar contra las leyes antiinmigrantes.
El presidente Trump dijo que llamó a su homólogo Enrique Peña Nieto para manifestar solidaridad y acordar el envío de ayuda.
Este evento fue organizado para garantizar que los beneficiarios de DACA renueven correctamente su aplicación.
El congresista Lloyd Doggett estuvo con la comunidad tratando temas como la seguridad y el porvenir de los ‘Dreamers’.
Sólo faltan 12 días para renovar los permisos, mira qué dicen los psicólogos sobre si estás experimentando sentimientos de estrés o enojo.
Ricardo Rosselló conversó en exclusiva sobre la situación de la isla luego del devastador paso del huracán María y la peligrosa situación con la represa Guajataca.
Maestros resaltan cómo el ser bilingües les abren puertas no solo en el ámbito laboral, sino también en el educativo. La evidencia más clara de esto es que padres de diferentes nacionalidades ya están poniendo a sus hijos a aprender castellano con tal de tener mayores oportunidades en el futuro.
Ante las acciones de la administración Trump, autoridades de California aseguran que los estudiantes inmigrantes son una prioridad.
Para satisfacer la demanda de ayuda de los 68,000 inmigrantes de ese condado, la junta aprobó $500,000 para ese presupuesto.
El religioso, quien llegó a Estados Unidos cuando tenía 13 años de edad, fue detenido por agentes el pasado 24 de julio en Los Ángeles debido a una orden de deportación que tenía por cruzar la frontera de manera ilegal en los años 90. Un juez autorizó su salida este viernes de un centro ubicado en Adelanto.
Él asegura que firmó una deportación exprés y por el contrario, fue mantenido en una prisión donde supuestamente no recibió la atención necesaria.
Voluntarios de la comunidad y personal del consulado proporcionarán asesoría para poder renovar DACA.
Antes y después: recorrido virtual por construcciones y estructuras afectadas tras el terremoto en México
Por medio de la tecnología se puede apreciar cómo eran los inmuebles y vías antes del sismo de magnitud 7,1 que azotó al país el pasado 19 de septiembre, el mismo día que se cumplieron 32 años del fuerte movimiento que dejó unos 10,000 fallecidos.
"Llegaron con despensas, se tomaron fotos y las volvieron a cargar", dicen en localidad entre Morelos y Puebla a días del terremoto en México
La voluntaria Gabriela Pérez asegura que miembros del DIF de Atlixco llevaron suministros y después manifestaron que eran para otra comunidad. Esta población ha recibido agua, medicamentos y ropa por parte de personas que se desplazan en sus propios vehículos.
El celular le salvó la vida a una mujer que estuvo 17 horas bajo escombros por el terremoto en México
Loana Pacheco manifiesta que envió mensajes de texto a su esposo, pero no tenía señal. 16 horas y 20 minutos después del sismo, su cónyuge, Juan de Jesús, recibió los avisos y contactó a rescatistas. Media hora más tarde la sobreviviente ya había sido sacada del hueco que describe como triangular.
Desmienten que Fernando Colunga esté hospitalizado
Un rumor de que el actor mexicano de 51 años había sido trasladado a un hospital de la Ciudad de México cobró demasiada fuerza.
Un terremoto de 6.1 vuelve a disparar las alarmas en Ciudad de México
Dos personas murieron por infarto. El epicentro fue en Oaxaca. Sobre las 7:55 de la mañana hora local del sábado, se activaron las alertas sísmicas en la capital mexicana y los estados cercanos. Los daños materiales no son graves.
Al menos 100 empleados son despedidos por la ciudad de Miami-Beach tras el huracán Irma
Por medio de cartas les notificaron a los trabajadores la intención de terminar sus contratos por no "reportarse a trabajar o dejar su puesto antes de ser autorizado durante la condición de emergencia civil" por el ciclón. Un afectado cuenta por qué no se presentó a su puesto el martes 12 de septiembre, como dice en la misiva.
“El corazón me dice que está vivo y que lo tengo que encontrar”: la esperanza de hallar a los 156 que faltan en México
En México no hay un registro oficial de desaparecidos durante el terremoto, ni en la capital ni en los estados afectados. Pero según el registro de ciudadanos y familiares, 156 personas siguen sin aparecer.
El ‘Chucky’ Lozano reapareció con sus ‘diabluras’ en la escandalosa goleada del PSV
El mexicano tuvo una gran actuación en el encuentro tras el juego de suspensión, hizo gol y además dio asistencia.
Hirving Lozano volvió y brilló en un escandaloso triunfo del PSV
El mexicano tuvo gol y asistencia en el triunfo de los ‘tulipanes’ por marcador de 7-1 sobre el Ultrecht.
El Espanyol golea al Deportivo de la Coruña y asciende en la Liga
Los 'Periquitos' dominaron en el encuentro casi desde el silbatazo inicial, por el Depor destacó el costarricense Celso Borges.
Schelotto pone el plantel de Boca disponible para Sampaoli
El técnico de Boca Juniors señaló que su plantilla está disponible en caso de que el seleccionador nacional los requiera para Perú.