Local Dreamers, undocumented parents still worried about future in America

President Trump has changed course and will allow children who arrived as undocumented immigrants to stay.

We spoke with local dreamer Jeidili Pascual-Eligios, who is a 17-year-old high school student in the Tampa Bay area.

At the age of two, Jeidili came to the United States with her parents.

“Papers and documents limit us in certain things,” says Jeidili.

As Jeidili grew up, it became more clear, something wasn't right. She felt different from her peers.

“I wanted to do a camp but I needed a Social Security number, so I couldn't do it and I was only a seventh-grader. So, I didn't know what it felt like. My mom felt bad but I didn't understand why,” says Jeidili.

Just a few years ago, Jeidili enrolled in the DACA program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

They're known as Dreamers and she's a dreamer for a reason.

“My ambitions are to have lots of businesses, mostly construction,” she says.

Ambitions she wants to achieve but her status is hindering.

“The only thing is that there are certain things that stop me from reaching them because of a document I don't have,” she says. “I have it but only for a certain amount of time until I reapply to get the permission to get another extension.”

It was good news, she says, to hear that dreamers can stay, for now.

“Right now, we're ok but we still have fear we're still precautions,” she says.

There is another side to this story, parents of those dreamers.

“It's really tough for the parents because it means the dreamers aren't going to get that full support because they’re in fear of their parents getting deported at any point,” she says.

President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has rescinded former President Barack Obama's order shielding millions of migrants from deportation, but is letting stand a policy that grants reprieves to people who arrived in the United States as children.

Migrants known as Dreamers "who were issued three-year extensions before the district court’s injunction will not be affected, and will be eligible to seek a two-year extension upon their expiration," said guidance released Thursday. "No work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates."

But, removing the shield for migrants means there is less protection for parents like Marisol Lopez concerned about deportation.

“To be parents of dreamers that means we have kids born here. So, how are we going to be separated from our kids?  I can't leave and leave my kids here,” says Lopez.

Marisol has sacrificed a lot for her kids. She hasn't seen her mother in 15 years, for fear that she won't be allowed back in the States.

“I can't abandon them. They don't want me to leave. They don't want to go back,” she says.

In 2015, Obama was working to shield the parents of Dreamers.

As many as 5 million people would have stayed in the country with work permits but that program was never put in place,

A Texas court blocked it at the request of a coalition from 26 state attorneys general.The Supreme Court deadlocked on a challenge to that ruling

The decision by the Trump administration officially ends the litigation.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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