Sunday, August 19News That Matters

DACA limbo “emotionally draining” on San Diego Dreamers


SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A federal judge ordered that the Trump administration reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, also known as DACA.

The DACA program – which protects nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from being deported.

While the decision has been made, it won’t be an easy road for the people involved. The restart is delayed until August 23, to allow the government time to appeal Judge John Bates’ decision.

For Dreamers like Ali Torabi, Friday’s win is just the latest in the political tug of war.

RELATED: San Diego Dreamers heading to the Capitol

“I was preparing for, in the next four days, the complete opposite,” Torabi said. He believed he might be deported. “I was actually working on my med school applications, and I was like, ‘I need to get my things together now.’”

Torabi is a DACA student from Iran and a 22-year resident of San Diego. He said Judge Bates’ decision is huge for the undocumented immigrants protected by the program. But being in constant limbo can be emotionally draining.

“Having this back and forth, where one day we don’t know if we’ll have any protection and were up to be potentially deported or detained, to telling us, well yea we’ll keep the protections…it’s difficult,” he said. “I’m not going to lie to you, it’s emotionally difficult.”

It isn’t over yet.

Judge Bates ruling could conflict with another decision on the program – expected to be ruled on by a federal judge in Texas by as early as next week.

The Texas Attorney General calls the program unconstitutional because it came from an executive order.

“It invites future presidents to ignore the law, ignore the will of the people, and set their own policies on the second amendment, privacy rights, drug laws, or any other important issues debated in Congress,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Torabi said he has hope. But getting to the finish line, “It’s exhausting, it really takes a toll on your mental health, on your emotional health, and we’re just getting tired of it.”

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