Immigration lawyer discusses DACA executive order and misconceptions


ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – DACA recipients, also known as dreamers, were brought here as children. They got their education and started careers in the United States, realizing the American Dream just like anyone else that is born in the U.S.

Esmeralda Carbajal, a Business Woman & DACA Recipient said, “If we as dreamers are not given a permanent solution then we stay in limbo because we really don’t know what is going to go on or if tomorrow is going to be ended we need something permanent.”

Dianne Leyva, an Immigration Attorney in Odessa said, “I don’t see how we couldn’t support DACA recipients as they are contributing to society just like we are every single day. They are just here to work, right, and be with their families and have a good life, raise their kids, and spend time with their family. I just don’t see how from a moral side how we could say ‘hey no more DACA.'”

She said even though they pay taxes, have jobs, and pay insurance they still aren’t able to vote.

“The whole ‘immigrants are just hurting our economy’ it’s not true. You have people that are paying taxes and that don’t have these benefits. They don’t get to vote they don’t get to decide on the government.”

One of the biggest misconceptions about dreamers is a public charge. The misconception that immigrants get more public benefits than U.S. Citizens. According to Leyva, this simply isn’t true because immigrants have to have sponsors to enter into the United States.

“A sponsor is someone that basically when you are applying for your green card somebody will come up and say ‘hey if this person were ever to request any kind of government aid I will cover it,” said the immigration Attorney.

Leyva said they are fighting on two fronts, the task of immigrating and the misconceptions they face.

“A lot of the issue is when we hear things like ‘DACA recipients are criminals’ and that is not the case at all. Again, in order to even have DACA to begin with you have to have your fingerprints taken and you are showing that you don’t have a criminal background.”

Right now, the DACA program is not accepting new applicants but she is hoping that will change soon.

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