Ga. DACA Recipients Worry What’s Next After Election

Elly Yu / WABE


President-elect Donald Trump has said he would end President Barack Obama’s “unconstitutional” executive actions, including on immigration, once he takes office.

Obama’s deferred action programs have given temporary protection from deportation to thousands of young people who were brought to the country illegally as children, and now those in Georgia say they’re worried about their future.

Four years ago, Ivan Morales, 22, applied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Since then, he’s been able to work with a work permit and receive his driver’s license.

Morales is working on a associated degree in sports management, but said he’s now uncertain how or if he’ll continue if DACA is terminated.

“I just feel like it’s a setback from everything that’s just been going on,” he said. “I’m really scared, I mean, I’m really anxious, nervous, and I don’t really know what’s going to happen. I really don’t.”

Morales is one of more than 20,000 people in Georgia who’ve received DACA, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Jamie Rangel, 25, of Dalton said he woke up on Wednesday with a sense of uncertainty and unease. Rangel was brought to the United States from Mexico when he was a few months old, and said he has concerns about being sent to a country he hasn’t known.

“The possibility of deportation has always been in any DACA recipient’s mindset — now it’s very viable it could happen but who knows,” Rangel said.

DACA recipients, like Rangel, say they’re worried that the information they’ve already given to the government when they applied for the program could be used against them if President-elect Trump ends the program.

Rangel, though, said he remains hopeful.

“In terms of moving forward, I believe that our community is strong,” Rangel said.

He said he and others like him will continue working with elected officials to build bridges.

“We’ve got to see what exactly the direction Donald Trump wants to take,” Rangel said.

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