DACA recipient says US restoring protections for young immigrants is half the battle

Published: Dec. 7, 2020 at 10:33 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -The Trump Administration must accept new DACA applications after a federal judge ordered the program goes back to its Obama-era status.

It’s a policy rollercoaster. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) met many changes in 2020.

“DACA has been a fight,” Alondra Quechol, Madison DACA recipient said.

In July, the DHS secretary laid out new rules for DACA protections. The renewable two week work permit was reduced to one year, and new applications were no longer allowed.

On Friday, a federal judge ruled those changes are invalid.

“Knowing that everything’s restored to the way it was is again taking two steps forward that we once took backwards because we still do not have what we’ve been fighting for since day one,” Quechol said.

Quechol, a so-called “dreamer”, calls the rule change a temporary fix to a permanent problem.

“Depending on the right and left hand, we can’t move forward in the real world and live freely. It feels like an invisible chain holding me back,” she said.

The 24-year-old has lived in the United States since she was three. She’s one of nearly 800,000 young people brought to the country illegally as children to avoid deportation because of the program.

Now, she’s a college graduate.

“An education that your parents fought for they literally crossed from one country to the next, so our family could have the best,” she said.

Quechol is working as a college transition coordinator at Centro Hispano.

“I was very excited to know that I have an opportunity to be a part of society,” she said.

She added this policy change is half the battle and more work has to be done.

“I’m still worried about my status,” she said. “They’re playing with us to a certain degree and it’s not right or adequate. You’re playing with a society that’s giving back to the community.”

The federal judge also ordered the government to put together a status report on the DACA program by Jan 4.

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