Yisarai Valbuena, who was brought to the United States from Colombia when she was 4 years old, said President Donald Trump’s decision regarding the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has serious implications for her future plans. Valbuena, 21, is a junior at the University of Utah majoring in engineering.
SALT LAKE CITY — Young immigrants in Utah are worried about the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has protected them from deportation and enabled them to work legally in the United States.
The White House is expected to announce on Tuesday the future of the program created by executive order by President Barack Obama in June 2012.
While campaigning for president, President Donald Trump vowed to end the program the first day of his presidency, denigrating it as illegal “amnesty.” More recently, his rhetoric has softened, particularly with respect to immigrant children brought to the United States by parents unauthorized to be in the country.
Yisarai Valbuena, a junior at the University of Utah majoring in mechanical engineering, says the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has given her legal authorization to work, allowing her to pay her way through college and help support her parents.
“I owe my success up until now to the fact that I’ve had DACA. I’m 21 years old and at Discover Card I was a manager. That was a really great accomplishment for someone so young.” she said.
But the program’s status is in flux and the future of the program has real-life implications for Valbuena and other ‘”Dreamers” she knows.
“I’m not afraid of mass deportation. I’m afraid of not being able to pursue my degree and not being able to work so hard for everything I’ve worked so hard to have (such as) taking away my ability to work as an engineer when I do have my degree,” Valbuena said.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in a statement issued Friday, urged Trump not to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program because it “would further complicate a system in serious need of a permanent, legislative solution.
“Like the president, I’ve long advocated for tougher enforcement of…