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Central Texas DACA recipients react to Supreme Court decision

Posted at 4:42 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 20:11:40-04

WACO, TX — The United States Supreme Court blocked the Trump Administration from ending the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" or the "DACA" program for undocumented immigrants.​

But the ruling came down on technical grounds.​

The so-called “Dreamers” in Central Texas let out a brief sigh of relief with the Supreme Court ruling, knowing it only provides them a temporary bit of comfort. ​

Grecia Chavira came to Waco on a tourist visa with her family in 2000 at the age of 8.​

"I started school in 4th grade and it was an all English classroom. I had a friend who would translate for me and that was it. that's all the help I got," she recalled.​

She made up for her challenges with hard work, put herself through Baylor Business school and now works two jobs as a teacher for Waco ISD and as an office receptionist.​

She finally found a path to U.S. citizenship and says the Supreme Court's decision on DACA can help lots of hard workers just like her.​

The court decided the Trump Administration needed more solid reasons to end the program.​

A win for those in DACA, but a temporary one at best.​

"A lot of our friends who are "DACAmented" they were living in fear of any moment their DACA status being taken away so in the short term it's a win. We've got to keep fighting the bigger fight," said Hope Mustakim of the Waco Immigrants Alliance​.

While some point to the fact that Chief Justice Roberts joined with liberals on the court as a hopeful sign, Attorney Susan Nelson says there's a good reason for that.​

"His decision is really a pretty conservative decision in saying a department when they're ending a program, to give warning about it, to wind it down in a way that takes in to account what's going to happen to the people that rely on the program," she said.​

Why's that such a big deal?

Because the libertarian Cato Institute estimates replacing those in DACA already in the American workforce would cost more than $6 billion if companies could even find replacements in areas like healthcare, the law and education.​

It's why successful "graduates" of DACA like Grecia Chavira say Americans should think twice about ending help for this group of largely high achievers.​

"Everyone's able to continue working to continue contributing to society, pay their taxes, taking higher education, just to continue living the way they've been doing for 8 years now," she said.​

Those in the DACA program know the Trump administration will probably come up with better reasoning to end the program. ​

By then, they hope to win over more voters who see value in the work they do and their contributions to life in America and in Central Texas. ​