A U.S. citizen in San Bernardino - who was detained by Immigration & Customs Enforcement - is speaking out about the federal government rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. KVCR's Ben Purper reports.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Tuesday that the federal government will be ending DACA with a six-month grace period, leaving roughly 800,000 undocumented young people at risk of deportation.
Guadalupe Plascencia is a U.S. citizen living in San Bernardino who was detained and questioned by ICE in March. Her detainment and subsequent lawsuit against ICE and the San Bernardino Sherriff’s Office have received statewide attention.
We asked Plascencia her thoughts on the end of DACA.
Speaking in Spanish, Plascencia told us, “I don’t have kids or relatives in this program. But I do know a lot of young people who are here fighting in this country, and who are doing huge things for this country, and are working for the community. I have people very close to me, and I can’t give names, that are in this program. And I think that if they end this program, it would be an injustice.”
“Because what are these kids who have been here for 10, 15, 20 years going to do? What if they’ve never even been to their country and they don’t know anyone there, or they might not even have family there? I don’t see the point of going to these extremes – is there that much hate? The other thing is that, isn’t racism is a crime?”
When asked what she would say to DACA recipients who are facing extreme uncertainty, Plascencia replied, “I would tell them that we cannot give up. We can’t stop fighting; we have to fight until death. We have to fight because those are rights that we have, nobody can take them away. Every young person, every family deserves these rights.”
DACA could be preserved if Congress takes action to put it into law during the six-month grace period; until then, DACA recipients will be left wondering what comes next.
Translation and English voice-over by Isel Cuapio.