Chicagoans React to Potential Rollback of DACA Protections

President Donald Trump is expected to roll back “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” protections for hundreds of thousands of people this week, and Chicagoans are gathering to protest the decision.

Outside of the immigration office in downtown Chicago Monday, protesters gathered to voice their disagreement with the decision, which is expected to come down on Tuesday.

  “All of us, no matter what color we are, need to stand up and say no,” one protester said. “These are people who are contributing to the economy.”

Protests are planned for after the decision on Tuesday, which could impact countless Chicagoans, including 17-year-old Bladimir Caballero.

Caballero, whose mother brought him to the United States illegally when he was an infant, has dreams of becoming a surgeon, but he worries that the president’s decision could change that.

“My dreams could end in a moment,” he said. “I expected to get good news about DACA. I can’t celebrate my birthday knowing that DACA has just been eliminated. This is the thing I’ve wanted since I was two years old.”

DACA was enacted by former President Barack Obama in 2015, and gives work permits to people who were brought into the United States illegally as children. Politicians on both sides of the aisle, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and House Speaker Paul Ryan have come out in support of keeping the measure in place.

Nearly 800,000 people, commonly referred to as “DREAMers,” have remained working in the United States as part of the program, but that could change if President Trump decides to reverse the protections.

“We have concerns that he’s going to use the DREAMers as a tool or device to exploit the Latino community,” Sara Walker of Lincoln United Methodist Church said.

The White House says that no decision has been made yet, and that no announcement will be made until the decision is made official by the president. 

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