Local DACA recipients worry about their future

Local DACA recipients worry about their future

Juan Alvarez

In the five years since DACA was enacted, an estimated 8,000 Wisconsinites have benefited from its protections, according to Voces de la Frontera. Now, many of those people are fearful of their future.

DACA has given one Verona teenager a job, a license and a sense of security. He’s been a beneficiary of the program for two years. He’s now scared he’ll lose all of that.

Juan Alvarez, 17, should be thinking about his first day of his senior year at Verona High School. He hopes to go to college next year to study political science and international relations, with dreams of becoming a politician.

“Hopefully getting a degree and finding a career and not necessarily having to struggle economically and socially in the way that my parents did,” he said.

But instead of thinking about his future today, he’s thinking about the future of DACA.

“i just feel so disheartened because I think the Madison community has always accepted me and my family and where we come from,” Alvarez said.

Like the 800,000 other so-called “Dreamers,” Alvarez came to the U.S. undocumented with his parents. They left their small town near Mexico City in search of a better life. For 16 years, they’ve called Wisconsin home.

“In all aspects I am American, except on paper,” he said.

Through the program, Alvarez has been able to get a job and a license. He recently bought his own car. Alvarez says DACA has allowed him to be an active participant in the community.

“In those two years, you are without fear,” Alvarez said. “You are able to really fully live as kind of, in my aspect, a teen, an American teen.”

But with DACA’s future in question, Alvarez feels his future is too. He even fears deportation.

“It’s kind of halting any pathway towards a life sustainable career or any prosperous success in the United States,” he said.

Alvarez’s DACA permit expires in November. He said he’s applied for a renewal, but is still waiting. Trump’s administration announced a plan, though, to continue renewing permits for anyone whose permit expires in the next six months.

The Community Immigration Law Center announced in light of Tuesday’s announcement, it will extend tis free legal clinic hours Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The office is at the Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 E. Gorham St. in Madison.

Written by Channel 3000

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