DALLAS - There's a push to get more young illegal immigrants enrolled in the program that could prevent their deportations.
The Trump administration this week announced that ‘Dreamers’ can keep their protections under his immigration policy.
A free workshop will be held on Saturday to help people fill out the application for the DACA program. The workshops happen from time to time, but this one will be the first since President Donald Trump said the protections could stay for young people brought into the country illegally when they were children.
Alma Terrazas was 3 years old when her parents brought her to the U.S. So when her dad was deported and her mom decided to go back to Mexico, Terrazas stayed.
“Me and my brother were like no, no we don't want to go back. This is where we live. This is the only thing we know, the only place we know,” she said. “Literally, my memory starts from here and on. I don’t have any memory of living in Mexico. I've seen pictures, but I have no memory of that.”
Terrazas was 12 years old and spent the next few years living with distant relatives and friends that would take her in. She and a brother were on their own. Terrazas says holidays were the worst.
Now at 24 years old with her own apartment and a job, Terrazas is one of the thousands of young people in the DACA program. It gives young people brought to the U.S. as kids a chance to get a work permit, drivers license and defer deportation action.
But immigration attorney Paul Zoltan explains it’s not a path to citizenship.
“It needs to be understood that roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants don’t remain undocumented as sort of a fashion choice,” he said. “It's that's they can't become residents, and they can't become citizens without some change in the law.”
For now, DACA is the best option for some. And volunteers spent Friday night preparing for a Saturday workshop to help make sure those who qualify are applying.
The workshop will be Saturday at the Tyler United Methodist Church located at 927 W 10th St in Dallas from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Participants need to register online here.