Fate of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients still unknown

There’s a lot of uncertainty among DACA recipients as they await the status of their citizenship in the U.S. In the meantime, they are not giving up.

More than 240,000 people requested DACA renewals in 2017. That’s over 40,000 more than the previous year. This has become one of the busiest times for immigration attorneys. Many have said it’s difficult to advise their clients when there is so much unknown. Immigration attorney Seth Draper says his law firm encourages their 200 DACA clients to renew.

“What do they stand to lose? At this point it’s just money,” Draper says. “There is a $495 government fee. It’s worth it though.”

Immigration attorney Alma Montes De Oca says everything has to be dealt with on a week-by-week basis, because at any moment the ruling could be overturned or another change could be made.

“Week by week we’re getting no decisions,” Montes De Oca says. “We’re trying to figure out the best way to finish and continue with their school, work, immigration process. Trying to figure out all of those things has caused a lot of frustration, anger and sadness.”

The uncertainty for Dreamers hurts not only the individuals, but also the companies and organizations they work for. Hundreds of thousands of jobs would be left empty. As the country is already at full employment, small businesses especially are going to have a hard time replacing these employees.

Before the ruling, DACA was meant to remain intact for months. Once the 9th circuit hears arguments, it could issue a ruling at any time that can preserve or overturn the lower court’s decision.

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In this segment:

Nephtali Moreno: DACA Recipient
Seth Draper: Immigration Attorney
Alma Montes De Oca: Immigration Attorney

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