TAMPA, Fla. – Sayra Lozano says she feels as if she's living her life on an expiration date.
As most of us prepare to celebrate the coming new year, Lozano says her family is facing an old, familiar fear.
On Friday, President Trump said there will be no deal to protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants—known as ‘Dreamers’—living in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan (DACA) unless Congress agrees on funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Time is running out for a DACA fix before protections for those Dreamers end. The president announced the effective end of DACA in September, telling Congress they had six months to come up with a fix.
That deadline is March 5.
Lozano is one of the estimated 2,000 'Dreamers' living in Tampa. Statewide in Florida, more than 33,000 'Dreamers' earned protection under DACA.
"To have to leave this country, it would be a completely new world, a new livelihood, something that I don’t even know where or what I would be," Lozano said.
"It means that we would be pushed back into the shadows."
Lozano says she was brought from Mexico to the U.S. by her parents when she was just 5 years old.
In 2012, she became one of the roughly 750,000 people brought to the U.S. as kids who were spared the threat of deportation when then-President Obama signed DACA into law.
In the time since then, Lozano graduated high school and went on to college. Just weeks ago she graduated with her MBA from Southeastern University in Lakeland.
“Obtaining that degree was the American dream that my parents had for me," she said.
In addition to her recent graduation, Lozano has penned a handful of columns — including for the Washington Post and The Tampa Bay Times — advocating for the protection of so-called ‘Dreamers’ like herself.
Earlier in December, she traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers on the issue.
But Lozano now wonders if lawmakers will ever be able to agree on a fix after Trump's demand for a border wall.
"I want our borders to be protected from criminals, from drug lords, from anything that would harm the United States, I think we can all agree on that," Lozano said. "But a wall is inadequate because it’s not a policy solution.”
Also in the president’s tweet was a call to end the lottery system for immigration and so-called “chain migration,” the policy that allows naturalized immigrants to petition for relatives to come to the U.S.
The Trump administration hasn’t exactly made it clear what an alternative to DACA would look like, saying it won’t be amnesty but they are “looking at allowing people to stay.”
CBS News contributed to this report.
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