So-called dreamers are getting help in renewing their applications under the DACA program, while congress struggles over a compromise on immigration.
Emma Chalott Barron is a dreamer and a DACA recipient. She arrived in the United States when she was 7, and is currently a student at Austin College in Sherman, majoring in political science.
“I want to work in the non-profit sector when I first graduate and I have plans to attend law school after that,” she said.
Saturday, she and the “North Texas Dream Team” helped other DACA recipients with their renewal applications. Many of them in similar situations, waiting for congress to come up with a permanent solution to the DACA program.
“I’m still up in the air as to whether I'll qualify this time around and so that's just some of that uncertainty and anxiety that I'm having as I'm set to graduate college and I just don't know what my future will hold,” said Barron.
President Trump laid out his plan for immigration reform during his State of the Union Address Tuesday, which included four pillars.
The first lays out a path to citizenship for Dreamers currently under DACA. Second is securing the border with $25,000,000,000 toward a border wall. Third is ending the visa lottery, and fourth is scaling back on family-sponsored immigration.
Assistant professor of political communication at SMU, Stephanie Martin, says the President’s four pillars proposal could further complicate any opportunity Democrats and Republicans have toward reaching a compromise.
“When you just talk about a simple deal, DACA in exchange for the wall. The wall in exchange for DACA. Everybody gets something they don't want and everybody gets something they do want. When it becomes four pillars, people start getting really confused,” she said. “It depends on how much Democrats are willing to negotiate, they have drawn a line in the sand - they shut the government once over DACA. And it depends on how much Trump is willing to listen to Republicans in his party and to those people in the middle.”
Meantime; dreamers like Chalott Barron are closely watching the latest developments on DACA that could affect them.
“We don't know if we will have a permanent fix, and we don't know whether that permanent fix will some at the expense of our community. And so, it's just a lot to deal with.”
The North Texas Dream Team says since the beginning of the year they’ve helped more than 130 DACA recipients. According to the president’s immigration reform proposal, an estimated 1.8 million people under DACA could eventually become citizens if they meet certain work and education requirements.