Thais Marques was marching at the base of New York's Trump Tower Tuesday when the White House announced its plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.
Marques (@thais_tweets), who was brought to the U.S. illegally from Brazil at the age of 5, has been a beneficiary of the program for more than four years. Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with her.
On her reaction to hearing Trump's DACA decision
"When I heard it I was with a lot of folks, and I thought that we've been going through the motions, but I won't feel anything. But I immediately just felt like, my heart sank to my stomach, and it was just a very sad moment. A lot of people were crying. We just feel a real sense of loss for, not just DACA as like a paper or a work permit, but for everything that DACA has given the 800,000 young undocumented immigrants in this country."
On fears about what she might lose
"I received DACA when I was 18 years old, and I was able to get a job that paid me a living wage, and immediately I became the highest earner in my household. My mom's a housekeeper, and my dad cleans parking lots at night, and even though they work really hard, they don't really get paid very well. Every month was just a question about whether we were gonna make ends meet. But when I got a job that was a living wage, I was able to really support my family, and for the first time we were financially stable. And I know that this is a story that many young undocumented immigrants have, where they provide for their family members or they provide for the children that we have. And so, I think this is gonna be a huge crisis in immigrant communities where primary financial supports are going to be lost, and hundreds of thousands of people are gonna be forced to leave school."
On whether she thinks she'll be deported
"It's really unsure, I mean we voluntarily gave all of our information, and I'm unsure of what they're going to do with that. I think that there's a real fear in people's minds that [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] is going to use that information to come after undocumented folks. I come from a mixed-status family, and so there is a fear that I'll be removed from my family, and I don't know Brazil, I haven't been there in 17 years. So not only would I move my entire life here, I would also be separated from my family."
This segment aired on September 5, 2017.
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