Despite small victories in keeping DACA alive, uncertainty remains. Here’s one recipient’s story.

In late November, a federal appeals court temporarily blocked the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival. It was a small victory, but fear of deportation remains high among recipients.

San Jose resident Alejandra Flores, 22, is among them. Brought to the United States from Mexico at age 5, Flores grew up undocumented, but the United States has been home ever since.

Flores teaches English-as a Second-Language (ESL) students and coaches her high school track team at Fremont High School. She is also an avid runner, a poetry lover and passionate about fighting for immigrant rights.

“To me DACA is a crumb…” said Flores. “I want something stable, I want a path to citizenship.”

DACA recipients and the Trump Administration anxiously await to learn if the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case.

To learn more about how the program started and where it’s at, read the primer below:

What is DACA?

DACA is an executive memorandum, granting undocumented citizens brought to the United States as children protection from being deported, authorization to hold jobs and a social security number. It does not however, provide a path to citizenship.

What happened when Obama left office?

In 2012, President Obama started the DACA program. The program accepted almost 800,000 undocumented immigrants. When Donald Trump campaigned for the presidency, he promised to end DACA.

What happened when Trump took office?

A few months into his term, Trump spoke of working out an agreement that can make everyone happy.

However, in 2017, the Trump Administration announced the end of DACA. Within in days of the announcement, 15 states led by New York and Washington DC sued the Trump Administration for trying to end DACA. California followed shortly after with a lawsuit to keep DACA in place.

Early in 2018, two federal judges from California and Brooklyn, issued national orders to keep DACA alive — at least until the lawsuits against the Trump Administration were resolved.

Around this time, the Trump Administration asked the Supreme Court to make a decision on DACA’s repeal, instead of waiting for a decision from the federal courts. The request was rejected.

A few months later, in May of 2018, Texas sued the Trump Administration, arguing that DACA is unconstitutional. A federal judge from Texas however, in a move that surprised many, ruled to keep DACA alive believing the program is “probably illegal.”

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had a hearing for Federal Judge William Aslup’s DACA ruling — and worked on making a decision.

What is the latest?

In September of this year, the Department of Justice again, petitioned the Supreme Court to rule on DACA — citing that the 9th circuit court could take a long time to rule on the DACA case.

In early November, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the order by California’s Federal Judge Aslup, giving DACA a small victory.

What is set to happen?

Now, both the Trump Administration and DACA recipients eagerly await to know if and when the Supreme Court will take up the case of DACA and rule on it. With Brett Kavanaugh’s recent confirmation, the survival of DACA may be headed towards an uphill battle.


  • Dilcia Mercedes

    Dilcia Mercedes is a writer from the Bronx. Her roots in storytelling grew from the art of poetry and became an exploration of the written word in books, magazines, online materials, and currently it's overlap with our ever-evolving technologies. Dilcia's interests in writing span from social issues, finance, the arts to social media and technology. She graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in sociology and has worked in education-based non-profits while honing her writing skills.  

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