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"I would feel really lost," local DACA recipients react to a potential federal court ruling on rights.

Posted at 9:28 AM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 10:29:07-04

Last July a federal judge in texas ruled DACA—a program that temporary gives immigrants who were brought to the united states as kids rights as citizens—blocking new applicants from applying.

DACA’S fate now lies in Federal court in New Orleans where–recipients could lose their rights completely.

KATC spoke with two recipients in the Lafayette area who are faced with a potential new reality on citizenship.

With DACA now in limbo in federal court—one local recipient shares what that would mean after living here in the United States for over two decades.

Ashley Almaraza Sanchez and her brother Kevin Almaraz Sanches have been in the US for more than 20 years.

"I really do feel a part of the community here and it became home,” Sanches said.

Brought here from Mexico by their parents in 2001 to experience a better life.

“We came here and then 9/11 happened so they were too scared to kind of go back. So we kind of just stayed here longer than our visa and we've been here since,” Sanches said.

Kevin is a financial consultant while Ashley is a full-time full time business student at SLCC.

Both were protected by DACA for more than a decade giving them rights as citizens.

Wednesday a Federal Appeals Court heard arguments in New Orleans and could soon make a decision on recipient rights.

“I really need an ID for anything for renting something to get my name on a title for the car."

According to the United States citizen and immigration services as of december 2021—over 611 thousand recipients are protected in the country.

Nearly 1600 reside in Louisiana

Their parents are also grasping their potential new reality.

"they're very angry. They're very saddened that this all these years of like hard work. They might not amount to anything,” Sanches said.

And a message to lawmakers.

"If not make it a better thing so we can actually become citizens and it'll be easier for us to just go about our day," Sanches said.

"I really wouldn't know what the next step would be. I would feel really lost,” she added.

It is uncertain when a decision will be made on the case or if it will make it to the Supreme Court.

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