Report sends panic through community of 28,000 DACA beneficiaries in Arizona

Trump plans to end DACA

TEMPE, Ariz. - There is a natural panic within a community of roughly 28,000 DACA beneficiaries in the state of Arizona. According to the DREAMers Coalition, some 2,000 of them are using DACA status to receive in-state tuition at either ASU or one of the Maricopa Community Colleges. 

Oscar Hernandez is one of those students. 

"The thing is, I really don't know what to do. There's no legal support aside from DACA."

Life as Hernandez knows it could be coming to an end if a report from Politico is true. The report claims President Trump will end the Obama-era policy with a six-month grace period for those benefitting. 

"I've been trusting the system of: If I do well and get involved in everything with DACA, then things are going to somehow end up well. And if DACA is just taken away from me. My American dream is gone."

Hernandez's parents moved the family from Mexico City illegally more than a decade ago. At the time, he was nine years old.

"I have no conception of anything else," Hernandez said.

Arizona State University President Michael Crow stood by the policy in an exclusive interview with 12News last week. 

"We think that children brought here are not responsible for their parents’ actions. These are children. So the people attending ASU under DACA status right now are students who came to Arizona, graduated from high schools here, and so we look at them as innocent individuals and doing everything we can to help them be successful," Crow said. 

On Sunday, Crow doubled down on his support in a statement to the ASU community

"We are going to educate students from Arizona and in doing so we will follow the law, however that is expressed. We will at the same time, within the law, do everything we possibly can do to help young people move their lives forward – regardless of the circumstances that brought them to this country.” 

Still - for Hernandez. With one year before graduation. The possibility of losing his work is real. 

"Eventually, you become numb to it, but it's sort of a sad reality to say people play politics with your life, but we have to accept that."

President Donald Trump has to officially announce a decision by Sept. 5 or face possible lawsuit. 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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