DACA repeal leaves local boxer’s fighting career on the ropes


JOSE CARDENAS: IN SEPTEMBER, THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REPEALED THE OBAMA EXECUTIVE ORDER ON "DACA" DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS. THIS CHANGE COULD AFFECT 28,000 PEOPLE IN ARIZONA. REPORTER TYLER PALEY MET A VALLEY BOXER WHOSE LIFE COULD BE AFFECTED BY THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION.

REPORTER (PKG): INSIDE THE RING, FRANQUALITY, COMFORT AND FOCUS. BUT OUTSIDE A WORLD OF UNCERTAINTY AND A FEAR OF WHAT TOMORROW COULD HOLD NOT JUST FOR ONE BUT FOR MANY.

ALEXIS ZAZUETA (PKG): I KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES ARE NOT JUST FOR ME. IT IS FOR MY ENTIRE FAMILY. IT IS FOR MY GIRLFRIEND, AND MY STEP-SON, AND MY BABY THAT IS ON ITS WAY. I FEEL LIKE THIS IS THE PLACE I CAN GIVE MY CHILDREN THE BEST FUTURE JUST LIKE MY PARENTS WERE ABLE TO GIVE ME THE BEST OPPORTUNITIES I COULD EVERY ASK FOR.

REPORTER (PKG): ALEXIS ZAZUETA ARRIVED IN THE UNITED STATES IN 1996, BROUGHT TO ARIZONA BY HIS PARENTS FROM SINALOA MEXICO. THE ZAZUETA’S UNDOCUMENTED JUST LIKE 325,000 OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS CURRENTLY IN ARIZONA.

TRUMP (PKG): WE WILL BUILD A GREAT WALL ALONG THE SOUTHERN BORDER. [APPLAUSE]

REPORTER (PKG): NOW THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS PROMISING TO TAKE ACTION ON UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS. THAT INCLUDES SO-CALLED DREAMERS OR PEOPLE LIKE ALEXIS WHO ARE ENROLLED IN DEFERRED ACTIONS FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS.- KNOWN MORE COMMONLY AS DACA.

JILL BLOOM (PKG): DACA IS WHAT IT WHAT IS CALLED A PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION ACTION. PRESIDENT OBAMA TOOK ACTION ON HIS OWN BECAUSE HE WAS FRUSTRATED THAT CONGRESS COULD NOT COME TOGETHER TO COME UP WITH A SOLUTION FOR CHILDREN THAT HAD BEEN BROUGHT HERE REALLY, WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG AND DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

REPORTER (PKG): ALEXIS ARRIVED IN ARIZONA WHEN HE WAS JUST ONE YEARS OLD.

ALEXIS ZAZUETA (PKG): I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW MUCH ABOUT BEING AN ILLEGAL IMGRANT. I SAW MYSELF THE SAME AS ALL MY CLASSMATES.

REPORTER (PKG): IN MIDDLE SCHOOL, ALEXIS GOT HIS FIRST TASTE OF WHAT WOULD BECOME HIS LIFE'S PASSION.

ALEXIS ZAZUETA(PKG): I REMEMBER ONE DAY WHEN I WAS 12, I WENT TO THE SWAT MEET WITH MY DAD AND I SAW A PAIR OF BOXING GLOVES AND I ASKED HIM-DAD CAN I GET SOME OF THOSE PAIRS OF BOXING GLOVES? I THINK THEY WERE PROBABLY TEN DOLLARS, AND HE BOUGHT ME TWO PAIRS, SO I HAD TO FIND MY BROTHER.

REPORTER (PKG): AND WITH THAT, HE INSTANTLY FELL IN LOVE WITH THE SPORT.



RAFAELA ZAZUETA (PKG) WHEN HE FIRST STARTED BOXING, I COULDN'T EVEN LOOK AT HIM. I WAS SO AFRAID FOR HIM. BUT HIS COACH TOLD ME IT WAS IMPORTANT I NEED TO BE THERE.

ALEXIS ZAZUETA (PKG): I REMEMBER THE FIRST DAY WALKING IN AND SEEING THE RINGS ON THE SIDE AND THE BOXING BAGS HERE. ALL THE FIGHTERS HITTING PADS. SPARRING. I WAS LIKE WOW, THIS IS SOMETHING OUT OF A MOVIE. I USED TO BELIEVE ONLY RICH KIDS COULD BOXED.

REPORTER (PKG): AT 17, ZAZUETA’S AMATEUR WAS TAKING OFF AND MADE IT PAST THE GOLDEN GLOVE STATE TOURNAMENT WITH EASE AND THEN CAME THE REGIONAL TOURNAMENT IN LAS VEGAS WHERE HE REPRESENTED ARIZONA, MEXICO, UTAH AND NEVADA. ANOTHER VICTORY MEANT A BID TO THE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT.

ALEXIS ZAZUETA (PKG): I REMEMBER TRAINING SO HARD FOR THAT. LIKE YOU KNOW WAKING UP SUPER EARLY TO GO RUN AND GET MY WORKOUT IN, GOING HOME AND GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL. RIGHT AFTER SCHOOL GO TO THE GYM. AFTER THE GYM GO STRAIGHT TO CONDITIONING. EVERYDAY WAS LIKE-IT WAS A ROUTINE, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM FOR LIKE TWO MONTHS.

REPORTER (PKG): HE SAID HE WAS MORE PREPARED THAN EVER FOR THAT FIGHT. A CONTEST THAT COULD HAVE MADE HIM A HOUSEHOLD NAME IN AMATEUR BOXING. BUT AT WEIGH IN THAT DREAM CAME CRASHING DOWN WHEN HE PRESENTED TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS WITH HIS BOXING DOCUMENTATION.

ALEXIS ZAZUETA (PKG): AND THEY CHECKED IT. AND IT SAID U.S. CITIZEN AND IT WAS CHECKED OFF NO.

REPORTER (PKG): U.S. CITIZENSHIP WAS A REQUIREMENT TO COMPETE IN THE GOLDEN GLOVE TOURNAMENT. QUALIFICATIONS ZAZUETA ADMITTED HE KNEW GOING IN. HE WAS DISQUALIFIED FROM COMPETITION AND ON HIS WAY BACK HOME HE DIDN'T TALK TO A SINGLE PERSON.

ALEXIS ZAZUETA (PKG): THAT IS WHEN IT HIT ME. I HAVE NO BUSINESS IN THIS AMATEUR CAREER ANYMORE. I AM READY TO GO PRO.




REPORTER (PKG): HIS FIRST PROFESSIONAL MATCH WAS IN NOVEMBER 2013 AND IN THE FOUR YEARS SINCE HE IS UNDEFEATED AT 9-0 WITH FIVE KNOCKOUTS. FOR ZAZUETA IT’S HIS FAMILY THAT KEEPS HIM GOING. THE 22-YEAR-OLD NOT ONLY HAS HIS PARENTS AND FOUR SIBLINGS BUT HE IS THE BREADWINNER FOR A FAMILY OF HIS OWN. HE HAS AN 8-YEAR-OLD STEPSON NAMED DANIELLE AND HIS GIRLFRIEND, PAULA, IS PREGNANT WITH THEIR FIRST CHILD.

PAULA (PKG): IT IS MAKING HIM MORE RESPONSIBLE. HE KNOWS WHAT HE’S CHASING YOU KNOW.

ALEXIS ZAZUETA (PKG): I AM THE HEAD OF MY FAMILY, I ALWAYS GOT TO FIND A WAH TO- JUST LIKE MY DAD DID-FIND A WAY TO SUCCEED I HAVE TO DO THAT NOW WITH MY FAMILY.

REPORTER (PKG): ZAZUETA SAYS HE’S NEVER BEEN IN BETTER SHAPE. HIS FAMILY IS HEALTHY AND HE HAS A BABY ON THE WAY. HE RENEWED HIS DACA ENROLLMENTFOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS IN SEPTEMBER BUT THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION TO ROLL BACK THE PROGRAM IS WHAT ZAZUETA UP AT NIGHT. A CLASSIC CASE AGAINST OF AN UNSTOPABLE FORCE AGAINST AN UNMOVABLE OBJECT.

ALEXIS ZAZUETA (PKG): THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY FOR ANYTHING DESPITE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES. THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY TO SUCCEED. YOU JUST HAVE TO BE PATIENT AND LOOK FOR IT.

REPORTER (PKG): GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES YEARNING TO BREATHE FREE. THE 13 WORDS ENGRAVED ON THE STATUE OF LIBERTY. WORDS THAT INSPIRE HUMAN BEINGS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE TO SACRIFICE EVERYTHING FOR THE OPPORTUNITY OF SOMETHING. AND WORDS THAT GIVE DREAMERS LIKE ZAZUETA A GLIMMER OF HOPE IN A WORLD OF UNCERTAINTY.

JOSE CARDENAS: PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS GIVEN CONGRESS A MARCH DEADLINE TO COME UP WITH A LEGISLATIVE SOLUTION.

"HORIZONTE" WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU. IF YOU HAVE COMMENTS, STORY IDEAS OR QUESTIONS E-MAIL US AT HORIZONTE@ASU.EDU.

JOSE CARDENAS: THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. FOR HORIZONTE AND ARIZONA PBS. I'M JOSE CARDENAS. HAVE A GOOD EVENING.

"HORIZONTE" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.”

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is scheduled to end in March, leaving the 800,000 recipients of DACA in danger of deportation.

Alexis Zazueta, a 22-year-old DACA recipient who has lived in Phoenix since he was an infant, was training to become a boxer bever the White House announced its decision to end the DACA program.  Zazueta now plans to focus his energy on pressuring members of Congress to pass legislation that will allow Daca recipients like himself to pursue a path to citizenship.

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