Potential DACA Disappearance Leaves Dreamers Fearful

CHICAGO (CBS) — Government policy has allowed children of undocumented workers who entered the U.S. illegally to remain in this country for years.

Tuesday, however, President Donald Trump is expected to outline his plan for ending that program due to his harder stance on illegal immigration. And as CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, the so-called “dreamers,” as well as their supporters, are unsure of what will happen next.

Chicagoans rallied at a Near West Side park Sunday to show support for DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The message of their protest is to allow DACA continue to keep families together and dreams alive.

“These are men and women with a lot of grit,” said Juan Ochoa, who was brought to this country illegally as a child and granted amnesty under President Reagan.

Ochoa adds a different dimension to the conversation.

“Employers like myself would be potentially deprived,” he said.

His company, Miramar Facilities, manages commercial buildings and currently employs two dreamers, both of which he says he’s continuously impressed by.

“Individuals who put themselves through college in spite of all their obstacles.”

It’s expected that President Trump will move to end the DACA program Tuesday, but give Congress six-months to come up with an alternative to the Obama-era initiative. In a news conference, Trump said, “We are going to show great heart. DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me.”

“Before we had DACA, I was living in the shadows and it was a horrible thing,” said Bladimir Caballero, a high school senior from Cicero who was brought to this country illegally by his mother from Honduras when he was 5-months-old.

He says the only life he knows is American. He has plans to attend college next year and hopes Congress can work out a solution that won’t sideline his dreams.

It’s estimated there are about 800,000 people who benefit from the DACA program nationwide — 42,000 in Illinois alone.

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