DACA recipients hoping Biden clears new pathway to citizenship

The last four years under Trump’s administration have been stressful for some DACA recipients. They tell us they feared for their safety in the States - the place where they’ve built their home.

When Barack Obama was President he signed a DACA policy allowing these women and hundreds of thousands like them to get renewable work permits to keep them from being deported. But former President Trump rescinded the policy.

"I think there was a disconnect in the previous system," said DACA recipient Luz Angela Ochoa. "At any point, we could’ve been taken from our home."

Now President Joe Biden is undoing work from the previous administration and has outlined an ambitious immigration agenda. It includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in eight years with a fast-track 3-year plan for DACA recipients, those with temporary protected status and agricultural workers.

"I have the peace of mind knowing no one can take me away from my children," said Eliana Fernandez.

Experts tell us there are some 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

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"We’ve already seen great improvement," said Yaritza Mendez with Make the Road New York.

On Long Island we have over 500,000 immigrants - approximately 1 in five is undocumented.

"They feel this country that they’ve been a part of for so many years is now accepting them with open arms," said Elise de Castillo, executive director of the Central American Refugee Center.

Emili Prado who has worked on the frontlines helping the immigrant community throughout the pandemic tells us she’s cautiously optimistic.

"We’re going to keep pushing the Biden administration to follow through on what he’s promised," she said.

We’re going to keep organizing and pushing the Biden administration to go through on what they’ve promised our community

They’ve grown families, made friends and finally feeling like they belong.