PHOENIX - Thursday was an important deadline for DACA recipients to renew to avoid deportation -- at least for now.
Help could be on the way though.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) introduced a compromise bill.
"That's a win-win,” Flake said while speaking about his bill on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon. "It's the best chance we've got to put this bill on [President Donald Trump’s] desk."
He says that it’s because it involves a compromise that offers a little of what people from either side of the political aisle want.
It would offer conditional resident status to DACA recipients for 10 years.
But it’s not a band-aid solution like many people describe DACA to be.
Flake told 12 News his bill would extend a chance for more permanent status.
"[There are] two provisional periods," he said, "at which time they could apply for [lawful permanent resident] or green card status."
The bill also addresses border security concerns, providing $1.6 to replace or repair sections of the existing border wall, Flake said.
"I've never been back to Mexico in my life,” said Lorenzo Santillan, whose parents brought him to the U.S. at 9 months old.
He's 30 now. And he says he's happy President Trump threw a wrench in the gears, ending DACA, which he considered a band-aid solution.
"Removing DACA [pushed immigration issues] onto the legislature. At the end of the day, it just needs to be acted upon by Congress,” said Santillan, though he's not entirely convinced by Flake's proposal.
"I'm going to be 40 by the time they think about giving me citizenship,” he said, explaining he feels he has already proven his right to be here.
Santillan not only pays taxes, but he is also a small-business owner.
“I employ people, and I have the potential to grow,” he said, discussing how he contributes to our economy.
His business is called Ni de aqui, ni de alla, which translates to "From neither here, nor there,” a metaphor for his life as part of the DACA generation.
He hopes to eventually feel like home somewhere, ideally in the United States, the only country he knows.
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