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How ending DACA affects mid-Michigan immigrants

Posted at 8:36 AM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 09:09:29-04

"My own children were DACA so I totally understand the feelings of those parents and the feelings of those family," says Oscar Castaneda.

Those feelings are fear of deportation.

Castaneda legally immigrated to the US years ago. His kids are legal citizens now but Castaneda knows tons of other people who are here because of DACA.

"They're just having their lives shattered in front of them without having done anything to deserve it," explains Castaneda.

That's why they say they're terrified of what might happen in the coming months.

"Their fear is, whether it's real o not, that they will come looking for them at the address they listed when they reapplied for DACA status," believes Dr. Rubén Martinez of MSU.

That won't be immediately. DACA won't be phased out entirely for another six months, but Martinez thinks this is a warning to those people.

"Basically, it's a notice that if they are picked up they will be deported," he explains.

For so many of them, though, this is their home, and the only one they've ever known.

"They may not have any particular family left over there and so they're going to have a difficult time. They're going to be these young people who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans," says Martinez.

That's why people like Castaneda want this to be a push for lawmakers to find a solution before people start being deported:

"I hope it galvanizes the community, not only at the Lansing level, but at the national level, to work together to find--we have this last opportunity to get it right, and hopefully we can get people organized."