The Trump administration said last week it will reject all new applications
for DACA, an enormous blow to young undocumented immigrants and a move that is sure to prompt new legal challenges. The announcement would seem to defy a federal judge’s order that immigration officials begin accepting new applications following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the administration acted improperly in ending the program.
Instead, the acting homeland security secretary said the government would conduct a “comprehensive review” of DACA, which allows about 650,000 undocumented immigrants to live and work in the country legally.
I spoke with Lupe, a community college student in California, about the latest news. The middle child of three, her older sister registered for DACA under President Obama; her younger sister is American-born. The interview has been edited for space and clarity.
You exist in a sort of immigration gray area. Why?
I came to America when I was just a baby, from Mexico. I was all set to apply for DACA, I just wasn’t old enough. And then a couple of months before my [15th] birthday, President Trump said he was ending it.
That must have been a blow.
For my older sister, I saw the difference that having DACA made. She could get a license, she could get a job, she could help out our family. She could start planning for a career. I don’t want to say I resented her because it’s not her fault she got DACA. But it meant she could have a future.
How did you feel when the Supreme Court decision was announced?
I could not stop shaking and crying. I was so overwhelmed with feelings and so happy. I thought, OK, this is finally it.
Honestly, you’d think I’d be angry, but mostly I just felt … tired. Like, this again? Back to limbo. But then this teacher from high school, who knows about my status, texted and told me she wanted to do anything she could to fight for me. So that’s what I’ve got to do, keep fighting.