Local professor on DACA: This decision tears families apart

Local professor on DACA: This decision tears families apart

SCRANTON (WOLF) -- "She used to have a permit for work, she could drive, she had a license, and all her life was good, but now things look very different."

Tony Camacho owns a business on Scranton's South Side.

He has many friends and family who are considered dreamers - recipients of DACA - the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program - because they were brought to the U.S. as children.

His sister-in-law is one of them.

"She applied for DACA, she get it for a couple years. Then they take it - she don't have it anymore," said Camacho.

After President Trump announced his push to end to the program, things have become unclear for many dreamers.

A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Report shows nearly 700,000 people across the county have DACA.

A large percentage are from Mexico, thousands are from other countries.

"This decision tears apart families. You have many people who are part of families where several are US citizens and others have DACA and others don't have any legal status in the country," said Dr. Michael Allison.

University of Scranton Latin American Politics Professor Dr. Allison says it's becoming traumatic for young people with their lives hanging in the balance.

"The fear of what will happen in a few months if Congress doesn't act to return these protections to these young people. They'll have to drop out of school, they'll lose their opportunity to work," he added.

200,000 Salvadorians recently found out they may also lose their protections here under Temporary Protective Status or TPS.

They came here after fleeing a devastating earthquake 17 years ago.

"What happens if it expires and we're left with 200,000 people who have lost all legal status in the United States? We imagine some will return to El Salvador, but many won't," said Dr. Allison.

He says right now El Salvador is extremely dangerous, that even our Peace Corps has been pulled out of the country.

"When you look at their story, it shouldn't end with 'they're illegal' or 'they came here illegally, but look at them as human beings with a story to tell," said Dr. Allison.

A bipartisan Senate group announced they have come to an agreement on DACA and border security, but the White House and congressional leaders have not signed off on any details yet.

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