WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen agreed with Texas and eight other states suing to stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. DACA was keeping more than 500,000 “dreamers” from being deported.
There are more than half a million so-called “dreamers” in the United States brought to the U.S. as children. The federal government says there were more than 5,000 in Kansas as of last year. All of them have to renew their status every two years. A local advocate says after this ruling, they’re now watching and waiting.
“It’s very traumatic not only for them because we do have families maybe by a DACA recipient a citizen and maybe with different status within the family, so we do have a lot of families with mixed status which creates a lot of anxiety.” Yeni Silvarenteria, Director of the International Rescue Committee of Wichita, said.
This is just the latest challenge for local “dreamers” and their families as they continue to wonder what could happen if the program is taken away.
“It’s very traumatic not only for them because we do have families maybe by a DACA recipient a citizen and maybe with different status within the family so we do have a lot of families with mixed status which creates a lot of anxiety,” said Silvarenteria.
The federal judge Andrew Hanen said in his ruling immigration reform should come from lawmakers. Not from the Executive or Judicial branch. Those who help immigrants with their legal status are hoping for more lasting change.
“I am hopeful this bad news will turn into something good and that finally we can take that step to make a permanent solution for them, not just year by year renewing but being able to actually solve that issue and create stability for them,” said Silvarenteria.