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Immigrant groups await President Trump's ruling on Dreamers program

President vowed to end program during campaign
Posted: 6:04 AM, Sep 01, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-01 13:50:25Z

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - President Trump could announce his plans for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as early as Friday, and immigrant advocacy groups across San Diego are on edge to find out what he decides.

The DACA Program, also called the "Dreamers" program, began in 2012 under President Obama. It allows children brought to the U.S. by their parents to stay without fear of deportation. Right now, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services says about 800,000 people are in the U.S. under the program.

Trump vowed to end the program during his campaign.

"It's been definitely anxiety producing," said Jesus Mendez Carbajal.

Carbajal is enrolled in the DACA program, and he also works at Alliance San Diego, an immigrant advocacy group.

"I keep running through the possibilities in my mind of, 'What if I return to Mexico? What if I stay here?' You know, all the 'What ifs,'" Carbajal added.

Carbajal said he tells other Dreamers not to panic, even after Trump releases his plan. He said the worst thing they can do is self-deport, which several people have told him they're thinking of doing.

"As much as we can, we should ride through the wave of emotions and uncertainty until we get to the other side," Carbajal said.

Members of San Diegans for Secure Borders also want to know the president's decision. They told 10News they hope Trump keeps his promise because they feel the program is illegal.

"DACA should be rescinded by the Trump administration to restore the integrity of our immigration system," spokesperson Jeff Schwilk said in a statement. "The law says that only Congress can make new laws related to immigration."

Carbajal said he hopes the program continues.

"It's helped us come out of the shadows," he said. "It helped us feel less afraid to say this is who I am, this is where I come from."