Immigration attorney: DACA recipients should look into becoming permanent legal resident
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday the Trump administration will rescind the Obama-era program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Former President Barack Obama's administration created the program to help protect the people that were brought to the United States as children from deportation.
Since DACA took effect, approximately 800,000 people in the United States have benefited from the program that provided work permits, driver’s licenses and social security numbers.
Local DACA recipient Sandy Gonzalez came to the U.S. at the age of 7 with her single mother and two siblings. Gonzalez is the first in her family to graduate from high school and benefit from DACA. Gonzalez says that this program opened many opportunities that she never imagined having before and is grateful for what it has given her.
"A lot of us depend on it," Gonzalez said. "But to me, if I can just continue to renew my permit-- I'm ok with that. I'm ok with working--I don't care if I don't get retirement or social security afterwards. I want to be able to stay here."
Gonzalez and more than 120,000 people in Texas have received work permits from this program.
DACA recipients, also known as “dreamers”, are afraid they will be sent back to a country they left years ago and do not consider home.
Immigration lawyer Norma Sepulveda has been helping the immigrant community for more than 10 years and says every DACA recipient should research options on becoming a legal permanent resident or citizen.
"Everyone that has DACA should be looking to see, ‘Can I become a legal resident, and if I can't, what are my options? Do I have to meet an immigration court?’" Sepulveda said.
Sepulveda encourages DACA recipients to discuss their options with an immigration attorney.