HOUSTON, Texas - Many Houstonians are left with lingering questions following President Donald Trump's decision to discontinue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.
One Houston student has been working hard in school and staying out of trouble, but she may soon lose the protection she currently has as a recipient of the DACA program, and face deportation. We'll call her Elizabeth.
"You can go to school without papers, right, but you can't go to school feeling safe, like you have opportunities to do things," Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth says she has been in the United States since she was toddler and has dreams of finishing school and becoming a working professional in the country she has come to know as home.
Dawn McCarty, Director of UHD Social Work, says thousands of young people could slowly end up in just that position if the protections of DACA disappear.
"Having no driver's license, having no work permit ... being open to deportation, which is catastrophic," McCarty said.
On Monday night, ABC13 and Univision 45 will host a non-partisan community town hall event at the University of Houston-Downtown about the program and what the president's decision means for the city and its residents.
ABC13's Elissa Rivas and Univision 45's Osvaldo Corral will moderate the event, which will bring together Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza, DACA recipient Oscar Hernandez, BakerRipley managing attorney Jill Campbell, St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance program director Zenobia Lai, Esq., and Professor Dawn McCarty from UHD's social work department. UHD president Juan Sanchez Munoz will provide opening remarks.
UHD students and their families will pose questions for the panelist of experts about DACA and its future.
The free, hour-long event will begin at 6 p.m. at the University of Houston-Downtown's Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium. It will be live-streamed on ABC13.com and Univision 45's Facebook page.
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