Following Trump’s announcement, DACA recipients held rallies at the White House and across the nation to call attention to their plight and to the benefits of the program.
“It allowed me to blend into society in every way,” says Monica Lazaro, 24, who was born in Honduras but raised in Miami, Florida.
DACA made it possible for her to get a driver’s license, pay in-state college tuition, get a job, and live without fear.
Lazaro has been working as a research associate at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and recently received security clearance to work at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Miami.
“Without DACA, I would be fired immediately,” she says.
In the five years since they were granted legal protection, DACA recipients have become deeply integrated into American society. A survey by the Center for American Progress found that at least 18 of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies employ DACA recipients. Another recent survey found that 73 percent of DACA recipients have at least one close family member—a sibling, a spouse, or a child—who’s a U.S. citizen. And according to a recent NBC News poll, 64 percent of Americans support the program.
Lazaro is trying to see the DACA announcement as an opportunity to get organized and push Congress to act.
“This is not the end,” she says. “It is just the beginning.”
* The term Dreamers comes from the Dream Act, a bill first introduced in Congress in 2001 that would legally protect young people brought to the country illegally as children. It has never passed.