LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A statement from the White House press secretary added uncertainty and fueled deportation fears for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Mario Hernandez and Luiz Perez were brought to the U.S. from Mexico when they were infants. They said the U.S. is the only country they've ever known, but worry they could be deported.
"The great majority, the overwhelming majority of immigrants, Dreamers or not, are impacting the country positively here. It doesn't make any economic sense or any moral sense to take away DACA," Hernandez said.
DACA was established in 2012 by then President Obama to protect people brought to the U.S. as children without legal status. About 800,000 people have signed up since then.
But since it was established by executive order, President Donald Trump can reverse it the same way. The current administration said it is looking into it.
"The administration has indicated several times before that the DACA program is under review. It continues to be under review and if we have an announcement on it, we will let you know," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
But 10 states, which are led by Texas, have threatened to challenge DACA in court unless Trump rescinds it by Sept. 5. Supporters of the act vow to fight to protect it.
"It clearly has shown tremendous benefits. Not just to those who receive it, but to the states where they live, including Texas, where a significant number of DACA recipients live and work and contribute to the economy. I think it would be an ill-advised move to eliminate DACA," said Thomas Saenz, with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Perez said he worries about it every single day.
"I'm definitely scared. There's many years in my past in which I lived in complete fear. To go back to that, it just breaks my heart that not only myself, but a lot of my family members will have to go back into the shadows," he said.
Supporters said the issue needs to be addressed by Congress, but until that happens the program should remain in place.
DACA recipients fear deportations, Trump administration will dissolve program
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