If a certain federal program goes away, undocumented law student Karen Villa Gomez may not be able to fulfill her dream of becoming a lawyer in the U.S.
“It feels like it’s a betrayal from the country that we grew up in,” she said. “I was two years old I’ve been here my entire life. To not to be able to pursue my goals I have been following the past my entire life.”
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin stood in support of Villa Gomez, and others like her--who came to the U.S. illegally as children, but have found support through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act--which protects nearly 800-thousand undocumented immigrants.
“We don’t believe that young people should be held responsible for the decisions of their parents,” Durbin said.
Recently, nine states asked President Donald Trump to rescind DACA, which led to 20 attorneys general--including in Illinois--to send a letter to the president asking him to ignore that request.
“My greatest fear is that either the court or the president decide to end DACA and the young people that you’ve met will find their lives compromised,” Durbin said.
Undocumented medical student Cesar Montelongo had been one of several several DACA beneficiaries who met with Durbin Monday.
“I am not sure I will be able to complete my program because if DACA goes away that means I can’t really reside in this country anymore,” Montelongo said.
Like Villa Gomez, Montelongo fears that his dream of becoming doctor will end if the government terminates DACA.
“If this goes away I have to do my best to keep going on to see what I can next," Montelongo said. "Growing up you realize nothing is assured, you just have to keep fighting every step of the way.”