‘I can’t keep fighting the system’: DACA recipients are leaving the U.S., disheartened by years of instability and backlash to their immigration status
The women had come to the U.S. legally, with their parents, as newborns, when they won a chance to stay as temporary residents without fear of deportation.
But the latest round of orders by President Donald Trump to end DACA and start the process of deporting them all has left dozens of women, crying and broken, walking away from their dreams.
“I am really just looking forward to getting a job and getting my family and my life back,” said one woman, who gave her name as Elyssa.
“I can’t keep fighting the system,” she said. “I just don’t want to fight anymore.”
She was a teenager in the United States, when she found out she could be deported.
“They told me if I have any kids, they’re going to take them,” she said.
She had a baby out of wedlock with her boyfriend. To get her green card, she fled to Canada with the couple’s child. But U.S. agents nabbed her and sent her home.
Elyssa’s story of trying to stay in the U.S. is similar to other DACA recipients, whose stories of chaos and trauma are making their cases into a national story.
The Trump administration announced the policy in September, saying it had received a letter from Congress, but later argued the letter was a hoax, and called DACA recipients “illegally present” in the U.S. anyway.
Trump’s signature campaign promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is coming to fruition: The Department of Homeland Security said it plans to spend billions on the project and is asking Congress for more funding.
The DACA program started last year, allowing young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally to stay and get temporary work permits, social security numbers and driver’s licenses.
The Obama administration allowed DACA recipients to stay and work until June, allowing them to renew up to three times. During that time, recipients don’t have to return to their home countries.