'It's terrifying': Local reaction to Trump's pending DACA announcement

Locals react to President Trump's decision on DACA program

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – One day ahead of Trump’s announcement on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the Louisville community is preparing for what the changes could mean.

"This type of rhetoric and this type of decision that's coming down from the president's office, from the president himself, affects in a very real way our students and their families”, Dustin Bishop, the executive director of Adelante said.

Bishop’s organization works to support Latino students and their families. He said he has had students and parents come to him with questions about what the change could mean for their future.

For Gil Hernandez and his family, the journey to citizenship has not been easy.

"It was definitely a life or death situation. If I had never made my journey, I don't know where I would've been. I don't know what would have been of my life,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez left Mexico for the United States with his mother when he was only 7-years-old. The trip included a 3-day walk across the Sonora Desert.

Today he says it was more than worth it.

"Having the freedom to do what you want of your life, being able to study and do things that you wouldn't be able to do in Mexico or many countries of this world,” Hernandez said.

But news of a possible change in protection for undocumented immigrants has him worried. The Trump administration could announce an end to DACA on Tuesday.

Hernandez said, "Getting everything you've worked for taken away from you is not what this country is for. This country, it gives people hope and that shouldn't be something that is taken from them."

The program, which was President Obama's signature immigration policy, allows undocumented immigrants who moved to the states as children to apply to defer deportation.

Those who are approved are then able to apply for a valid driver's licenses, enroll in college and legally secure jobs. Hernandez calls the program life changing.

"These students, they're called dreamers because they dream of one day giving back to the country that allowed them to dream,” Hernandez said.

Now, he is hopeful those dreams won't be thrown away.

An announcement is scheduled for Tuesday, but it's expected that DACA will not end for 6 months.

People familiar with the plans said the delay would be intended to give Congress time to decide whether it wants to address the status of the affected young immigrants.

It's not clear how the 6-month delay would affect people who currently have work permits under the program, or whose permits expire during the delay.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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