As the political debate over the immigration program intensifies, more than 13,000 Dreamers in Nevada could face deportation.
Thousands of others who never applied for DACA could suffer the same fate. 8 News NOW spoke with a local Dreamer desperately waiting for a legislative solution.
“To be an attorney you have to take a bar exam,” said Brenda Romero, Dreamer.
But Romero’s dream to become an attorney might remain just that because her future in the country hangs in the balance.
“I really haven’t known anything else other than you know, Nevada as my home,” Romero said.
Romero who’s 23, was two years old when her parents illegally brought her to the United States from Mexico. Romero is expected to graduate from UNLV this summer.
But, without DACA or legislative action, her career goals might hit a dead end.
“Right now there’s a lot of fear and uncertainty, but there’s also that wanting to continue to fight,” Romero said.
Dreamers nationwide are losing their work permits daily, and Romero has about a year before she becomes vulnerable to deportation. However, there’s a small window of opportunity for some young immigrants to renew their DACA status following an injunction by the federal court Friday.
“It’s just renewals. Nobody who has never had DACA will be eligible to get DACA for the first time,” said Laura Barrera, attorney, UNLV Immigration Clinic.
U.S. citizenship and immigration services have been ordered to continue processing applications. Work permits are typically renewed for two-years.
“That gives them a lot more time to be here and work while Congress hopefully reaches a legislative solution,” Barrera said.
“I think I’m just being optimistic,” said Romero.
Romero’s optimistic about a permanent fix, so she can move on with the only life she knows.
“It goes back to us being human beings at the end of the day, and we are living people and we have emotions and feelings, and jobs and families,” Romero said.
All of Nevada’s members of Congress support deportation relief for Dreamers, but there’s still division along party lines when it comes to funding the border wall and dealing with chain migration.