“It’s almost like watching a novela.”
That’s how Juan Escalante, the digital campaigns manager at America’s Voice and a DACA recipient, described the unfolding of events since the Trump administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Obama-era program, which shields undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation and allows them to legally work in the country, would end on a six-month delay, placing the onus on Congress to find a legislative solution. A little over a week later, after a dinner meeting with the president, Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said in a statement that the three leaders “agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly.” Pelosi and Schumer’s announcement sent shockwaves across Washington, but those who the statement directly impacts remain skeptical.
“In terms of the tweets, and everything like that, nothing will be official, until it’s official,” said Maria Praeli, a DACA recipient who works as an immigration-policy associate at FWD.us, a pro-immigration group. Praeli cited Trump’s tweet on Thursday morning in which he described the group as “good, educated, and accomplished young people” as a source of hope. “I think those comments are great,” she said, adding that even so, there’s still anxiety about what comes next for the program’s beneficiaries.