DACA recipients remain in limbo following government spending bill


    DACA recipients still in limbo (Source: File Photo)

    With the partial government shutdown avoided, one group was left out from the compromise.

    DACA recipients won't be receiving any benefits for their status and continue to be in limbo.

    That effects people like Osiris Badillo, a Valley millennial, who is enrolled in college and has a steady income working at a McAllen hotel.

    "My mom brought me here when I was 15 days old, so basically [the Valley] is my home,” Badillo said.

    Badillo is originally from Tampico, Mexico.

    She is also a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient, also known as DACA. A program created under the Obama administration to keep the children brought by their parents illegally into the U.S. from being considered a priority for deportation. DACA recipients receive a work permit but are still undocumented and the program could end at any time.

    "I remember the first time where the government was saying, ‘You know what, you're not going to be able to renew your DACA.’ It was scary," Badillo said.

    President Trump had originally promised extending DACA protections for more time in exchange for a $5 billion border wall, along with fears of another government shutdown, but that didn't happen.

    "This new budget deal doesn't include any legalization for DACA or TPS holders," said Miriam Ayala, an immigration attorney.

    Ayala says while TPS recipients will have their status expire within the next year, DACA recipients are left in a limbo.

    "Most of these people have lived here since they were very young, they don't know any other country except the United States,” Ayala said. “So sending them to another country is just very scary for them."

    "I think the thing that a lot of people don't understand is that it's not our fault,” Badillo said. “We didn't do anything to be brought to the United States. Our parents just wanted to give us a better opportunity."

    Immigration attorneys recommend DACA recipients renew their work permits before the next deadline or to speak to an attorney about possible ways of legalizing their immigration status if possible.

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