DACA Boxer Alexis Zazueta shares how the repeal has affected his life


Jose: THE REPEAL OF DAVA HAS AFFECTED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN ARIZONA DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY. REPORTER TYLER PALEY MET A VALLEY BOXER WHOSE LIFE HAS BEEN PUT ON HOLD SINCE PRESIDENT TRUMP’S DECISION TO END DACA ALMOST TEN MONTHS AGO.
Paley: INSIDE THE RING, TRANQUILITY, COMFORT, FOCUS, BUT OUTSIDE A WORLD OF UNCERTAINTY, AND FEAR OF WHAT TOMORROW COULD HOLD. NOT JUST FOR ONE, BUT FOR MANY.
Zazueta: I KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES ARE NOT JUST FOR ME, IT’S FOR MY ENTIRE FAMILY. YOU KNOW, IT’S FOR MY GIRLFRIEND, FOR MY STEP SON, FOR MY BABY THAT’S ON HIS WAY. YOU KNOW, UM, 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 EVER ASK FOR.
Paley: ALEXIS ZAZUETA ARRIVED IN THE UNITED STATES IN 1996, BROUGHT TO ARIZONA BY HIS PARENTS FROM SINALOA, MEXICO. THE ZAZUETAS WERE UNDOCUMENTED, JUST LIKE 325 THOUSAND OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS CURRENTLY IN ARIZONA.
Trump: WE WILL BUILD A GREAT WALL ALOND THE SOUTHERN BORDER.
Paley: 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 ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS, KNOWN MORE COMMONLY AS DACA.
Bloom: DACA IS 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 THA THAD BEEN BROUGHT HERE REALLY WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG, AND DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING.
Paley: ALEXIS ARRIVED IN ARIZONA WHEN HE WAS JUST ONE YEAR OLD.
Zazueta: I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW, UM, MUCH ABOUT, YOU KNOW, BEING AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT. I SAW MYSELF AS THE SAME AS ALL MY CLASSMATES.
Paley: IN MIDDLE SCHOOL, ALEXIS GOT HIS FIRST TASTE OF WHAT ULTIMATELY WOULD BECOME HIS LIFE’S PASSION.
Zazueta: I REMEMBER ONE DAY, WHEN I WAS 12, I WENT TO THE SWAP MEET WITH MY DAD AND I SAW A PAIR OF BOZING GLOVES. I ASKED HIM, DAD CAN I, UM, GET SOME OF THOSE PAIRS OF BOXING GLOVES? THEY WERE PROBABLY LIKE TEN DOLLARS AND HE BOUGHT ME TWO PAIRS SO I COULD FIGHT MY BROTHER.
Paley: AND WITH THAT, HE INSTANTLY FELL IN LOVE WITH THE SPORT.
R Zazueta: WHEN HE FIRST STARTED BOZING, I COULDN’T EVEN LOOK AT HIM. I WAS SO AFRAID FOR HIM. BUT HIS COACH TOLD ME IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO BE THERE.
Zazueta: I REMEMBER THE FIRST DAY WALKING IN, YOU KNOW, SEEING THE RINGS ON THE SIDE WITH THE BOXING BAGS HERE, ALL THE FIGHTERS WITH THE HITTING PADS SPARRING, THIS IS LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF A MOVIE, YOU KNOW? I USED TO BELIEVE THAT ONLY RICH KIDS USED TO BOX, YOU KNOW?
Paley: AT 17, ZAZUETA’S AMATEUR CAREER WS TAKING OFF. HE MADE IT PAST THE GOLDEN STATE GLOVE TOURNAMENT WITH EASE. THEN COME THE REGIONAL TOURNAMENT IN LAS VEGAS WHERE HE REPRESENTED ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO, UTAH, AND NEVADA. ANOTHER VICTORY MEANT A BID TO THE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT.
Zazueta: I REMEMBER TRAINING SO HARD FOR THAT FIGHT. WAKING UP SUPER EARLY TO GO RUN, GET MY WORKOUT IN, GO HOME, GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL, RIGHT AFTER SCHOOL GO TO THE GYM, AFTER THE GYM GO TO MY STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING. EVERY DAY IT WAS A ROUTINE.
Paley: HE SAYS HE WAS MORE PREPARED THAN EVER FOR THAT FIGHT, A CONTEST THAT COULD HAVE MADE ALEXIS ZAZUETA A HOUSEHOLD NAME IN AMATEUR BOXING. BUT AT WEIGH-INS, THAT DREAM CAME CRASHING DOWN WHEN HE PRESENTED BOXING OFFICIALS WITH HIS DOCUMENTATION.
Zazueta: AND THEY CHECKED IT AND SAID U.S. CITIZEN HAT IT CHECKED OFF: NO.
Paley: U.S. CITIZENSHIP WAS A REQUIREMENT TO COMPETE IN THE GOLDEN GLOVES TOURNAMENT. A QUALIFICATION 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.
Zazueta: THAT’S WHEN IT HIT ME I HAD NO BUSINESS IN THIS AMATEUR CAREER ANYMORE, YOU KNOW? I’M READY TO GO PRO.
Paley: HIS FIRST PROFESSIONAL MATCH WAS IN NOVEMBER, 2013 AND IN THE FOUR YEARS SINCE, HE’S UNDEFEATED, AT 9 IN 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’S THE BREAD WINNER FOR A FAMILY OF HIS OWN. HE HAS AN EIGHT YEAR OLD STEP SON NAMED DANIEL, AND HIS GIRLFRIEND PAULA IS PREGNANT WITH THEIR FIRST CHILD.
Paula: IT’S MAKING HIM MORE RESPONSIBLE ‘CAUSE HE KNOWS WHAT HE’S CHASING, YOU KNOW?
Zazueta: I’M THE HEAD O FMY FAMILY, I ALWAYS FIND A WAY, JUST LIKE MY DAD DID, FIND A WAY TO SUCCEED. I GOTTA DO THAT NOW IN MY FAMILY.
Paley: 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 ENROLLMENT FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS IN SEPTEMBER, BUT THE PRESIDENT’S DECISION TO ROLL BACK THE PROGRAM IS WHAT KEEPS ZAZUETA UP AT NIGHT, A CLASSIC CASE OF AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE AGAINST AN IMMOVABLE OBJECT.
Zazueta: THERE’S ALWAYS A WAY FOR ANYTHING DESPITE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES. THERE’S ALWASYA WAY TO SUCCEED, YOU JUST GOTTA BE PATIENT AND LOOK FOR IT.
Paley: GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES, YEARNING TO BREATHE FREE. THE 13 WORDS ENGRAVED ON THE STATUE OF LIBERTY. WORDS THAT INSPIRED 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: ZUZUETA REAPPLIED FOR DACA JUST BEFORE THE APPEAL AND HAS ABOUT ONE YEAR LEFT ON HIS NEW DACA DEAL. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING HORISONTE AND ARIZONA PBS. I’M JOSE CARDENAS. HAVE A GOOD EVENING.

The repeal of DACA has affected thousands of people in Arizona both directly and indirectly. Reporter Tyler Paley met a boxer whose life has been on hold since President Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA almost 10 months ago.

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In this segment:

Jill Bloom: Immigration Attorney
Alexis Zazueta: DACA Recipient
Rafaela Zazueta: Alexis' Mother

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