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'It's really tough': DACA recipients worry about uncertainty of program

1 week 6 days 17 hours ago Tuesday, July 20 2021 Jul 20, 2021 July 20, 2021 8:07 AM July 20, 2021 in News - Local

It's been four days since a federal judge issued a halt to new DACA applications, calling the program illegal.

The White House has yet to respond as the president promised on Saturday and that has immigration advocates working overtime and applicants and recipients on edge. 

RELATED: Biden pledges appeal of 'deeply disappointing' DACA ruling  

DACA recipients like Jesus Contreras have been wondering what's next for them. Contreras, a paramedic who worked to save lives during the pandemic, says although he's in for now, he's worried about others who aren't as lucky.

"Not only do you have to do your full-time job and do what you do in this country, but you also have to watch your back and care for yourself and care for immigrants like yourself," Contreras said. "It's really tough."

READ ALSO: 'A blaring siren' for Democrats after ruling halts DACA  

On Friday, a federal judge issued an injunction on new applications for the program.

"What that means is they won't authorize them and they won't reject them," said immigration attorney Jorge De La Fuente. "They're going to be frozen."

Immigration advocates at LUPE saying the injunction isn't fair to the tens of thousands of those with applications in limbo.

"They continue to accept funding but the application doesn't get processed," said Xochitl Hinojosa, a service provider with LUPE. 

And its putting a strain on those like Contreras who were brought to the U.S. as small children.

READ ALSO: Dreamer reacts to latest DACA ruling  

"There's nothing that I truly, truly remember back in Mexico, besides leaving," Contreras said. "A few memories here and there, but everything else has been Texas."

In a statement, President Biden said, "the Department of Justice intends to appeal this decision in order to preserve and fortify DACA."

As of Monday, no appeal filed in the courts, and advocates at LUPE are telling those working through the process to stay the course for now.

"Until the injunction is over - which we believe it will end - please keep going to your scheduled appointments for fingerprints until further notice," De La Fuente said. 

RELATED: Officials, organizations react to DACA ruling  

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