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FRONTERAS: DACA Special Edition

This week on Fronteras:  Focus On DACA

  •  President Trump ends DACA – the Obama era policy that protected immigrant children.  A recipient describes life before and after DACA.
  •   The Texas Attorney General believes the president made the right decision.
  •  DREAMers helped by DACA fear deportation may be in their future.
  •  A UT-El Paso student works to make the border campus a place that changes perspectives about immigrant students.
  •  University of New Mexico students rally against the DACA decision.  
  •  A Harvey survivor feels the DACA decision adds another storm on top of the one her family’s struggling to overcome.  
  •  Harvey storm damage demonstrates need for undocumented construction workers.
  • Some DACA recipients did not know they had protected status until they were teenagers.



15 States Sue Government Over End Of DACA

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia are suing the government over President Trump’s decision to end DACA – President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that gave protected legal status to children who immigrated to the U.S.  


More than 800,000 young people have been helped by DACA and could face deportation. The lawsuit claims that the Trump administration violated the Constitution's equal protection clause by targeting a group that is nearly 80-percent Mexican natives.


Many DACA recipients, known as DREAMers, have been able to go to college and now have careers.  They were rocked by the news the program will end in six months unless Congress moves to save it. We have reaction from around the southwest beginning with DACA recipient Dulce Garcia who is an immigration attorney. She describes what life was like before DACA. 

The Story


Garcia, who lives in San Diego, spoke with Maureen Cavanaugh of KPBS who talked with her further about life after DACA and how she feels about the program ending.

The Story


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Backs Ending DACA

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised President Trump’s decision to phase out the DACA policy.  He said  “We're grateful that he rescinded this and that we're now under a president that actually follows the constitution and acting within the scope of his authority.” 


Credit Martin do Nascimento / KUT
A rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017 in Austin.


One DREAMer Fears For His Family’s Future

Paxton had threatened to sue the Trump Administration if it didn’t end the program that provides legal protections to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. More than 120,000 Texans are DACA recipients. Some are fearful and are refusing to talk about the decision but KERA’s Bill Zeeble found one so-called DREAMer willing to tell his story.

The Story



UT-El Paso Student Thinks Border Campus Can Make A Difference

The sting of the DACA decision also was felt among young people attending college without papers at the University of Texas at El Paso.  Marfa Public Radio’s Tom Michael reports on a student there who thinks this border campus can make a difference in how immigrant students are viewed.

The Story


Credit Marisa Demarco / KUNM
Yazmin Irazoqui-Ruiz leads the crowd in chants during the demonstration on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at UNM.


University Of New Mexico Students March For DACA Recipients Rights

Turning now to Albuquerque, where hundreds of students turned out to protest the DACA decision at the University of New Mexico. KUNM’s Marissa DeMarco reports they marched to demand equality and rights for immigrant students.  

The Story


Credit Stella M. Chavez / KERA News
Karen Le, 27, is a DACA recipient in Houston.


Harvey Survivor Hit Hard By DACA Decision

Hurricane Harvey has been a tough blow for many Houstonians and the news of DACA ending felt like more rain being dumped on an already flooded situation. KERA’s Stella Chavez reports.

The Story


Harvey Puts Spotlight On Need For Undocumented Workers

Rebuilding and repairing Houston after Harvey will underscore the demand for construction workers.  Next to California, Texas has the largest number of residents with temporary legal status under DACA. Economist Ray Perryman says rescinding DACA will only exaggerate the state’s need for foreign workers:  "There are many industries where the undocumented workforce is very important, but probably nowhere more than construction. I think this storm just puts a real exclamation point on the issue at this particular point in time."

 More than 14,000 homes were destroyed and nearly 200,000 damaged by Harvey in Texas alone.


Credit Seven Flores
Seven Flores


Some DACA Recipients Didn’t Know They Had Protected Status

And to close this DACA edition of Fronteras, TPR’s Jack Morgan has the story of a DREAMer who grew up in America not even knowing he had protected DACA status until he was a teenager.  

The Story

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1