Park City DACA Recipient Attending The "U" Still Concerned For Dreamers
On Thursday, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Obama era executive order known as DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It allows young people brought to the U.S. as minors, to remain under legal protection if they are working or in school. The ruling was a blow to the Trump administration which had challenged the legality of the 2012 order.
With the 5 to 4 ruling by the Supreme Court, hundreds of thousands of mostly young, undocumented people can breathe easy at least until the next challenge to the Obama era order. Park City resident, Enrique Sanchez has lived here since he was 2 years old. Sanchez graduated from Park City High School, received his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and is currently a senior at the University of Utah majoring in Political Science. He works for Park City Municipal as a Community Outreach Specialist.
“Chief Justice John Roberts who is a conservative judge actually was the one who authored it and was joined by the four liberal judges. They believe that the way that the Trump administration tried to rescind this program wasn’t the correct way. So essentially this decision gives the Trump administration a road map of how to end the program the correct way. So, if we're looking at another Trump administration, another four years, then the possibility that they will retry to end the program again is very high. So celebrate today and start fighting again tomorrow, because it is just a very temporary solution.”
Park City Education Foundation Bright Futures Liason Rebecca Gonzales says the young people in her program were not eligible for DACA status due to limitations the Trump administration imposed early in his presidency. Gonzales says parents contact her frequently asking how their children can apply for DACA status. She says it’s unknown if this ruling allows for new applications. The cost of an application for DACA status is about $500.00 and Gonzales says they are expecting a 55% increase. Additionally, DACA status must be renewed every two years.
“We need to have an open door so that students who are DACA recipients right now can apply and qualify and will have that protection, and that they can start working, they can continue their education. There's such a huge need here in Park City, and we continue to fundraise in our community so that we can provide scholarships for students to help them pay their DACA renewal fee.”
Sanchez says the DACA program was made available to him when he was in junior high school, but younger students haven’t had the same access.
“You have to fit certain guidelines and be a working member of society. You’ve got to be going either to school or be working. I believe one of the things was you had to be in the United States before 2012 when this program was implemented. You had to be a certain age before then. I believe 30 was the cut off. Some of the youngest are probably around my age in their 20s because ever since the Trump administration ended it, those younger high school students now do not have access to this program.”
Sanchez says people brought to the US as children could be deported if they are not protected under DACA status. Sanchez says the best ways help is to vote on election day and to call Utah’s congressional delegation.