AUSTIN ― When Karla Pérez handed over a stack of paperwork including her home address, photographs and her fingerprints to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services five years ago to apply for DACA, she was still living at home with her parents. To gain the ability to work legally under the new program despite being undocumented, Pérez had to make the tough choice to give the Department of Homeland Security not just her own address, but the one for her mom and dad as well.
“That always weighs heavily on my mind,” Pérez said. “My biggest concern right now is my parents because DHS has my information… I’m not so much worried for myself as for my family.”
After the Trump administration announced the termination of DACA on Tuesday, several of the program’s recipients interviewed by HuffPost described feeling a sense of both injustice and betrayal. The program, whose full title is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, shielded undocumented immigrants who came to the country as minors from deportation and allowed them to work legally in the United States.
To take advantage of the program, DACA recipients had to make a leap of faith that the federal government would not turn around after Barack Obama’s presidency ended and use their own information against them.
Many of them, like Pérez, were living with undocumented family members when they provided their address to USCIS on their first applications. As the Trump administration eviscerates the last major immigration reform of the Obama years, many DACA beneficiaries were not worried so much about themselves as their parents or other family members left out of the program and in limbo by stalled attempts to pass farther-reaching reforms through Congress.
“I’m freaked out,” Pérez said. “But at the same time, there’s this renewed commitment to fight for everyone in the immigrant community, including my parents.”
Juan Belman, 24, obtained DACA while studying at the University of Texas at Austin. He’s since moved on to a job at the Workers Defense Project, an organization dedicated to recouping the unpaid money owed to low-wage workers. The address Belman submitted with his DACA application was his family home, where his undocumented parents live.
“That’s a concern,” Belman told HuffPost. “I’m not always home. That’s something I worry about. We’ve given them all our information.”
Another DACA recipient, who asked to be identified only as Luis in order to…