Young immigrants on edge as Trump says he'll renew efforts to end DACA
Despite a win in the Supreme Court Thursday, young immigrants on Long Island and nationwide are still facing an uncertain future after President Donald Trump announced he will renew his effort to end the program that protects them from deportation.
Nelson Melgar is a DACA recipient from Glen Cove. He says Trump's promise to continue efforts to end the program is upsetting, but not surprising.
"This is his M.O. -- his M.O. is, 'I'm going to light this house on fire, you guys figure out how to turn the fire off,'" says Melgar.
In a 5-4 ruling Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legal protection from immigrants who were children when brought into the country without documentation. But in a tweet, Trump said, "The Supreme Court asked us to resubmit on DACA, nothing was lost or won," and that he would be "submitting enhanced papers shortly."
Paige Austin, an attorney for Make the Road New York, worked on the original lawsuit on which the Supreme Court ruled.
"This is a president who tweets out nonsense all day long," she says. "We can't speculate about what he means exactly, but the courts have spoken, DACA holders won. The program has been returned to its status prior to Sept. 2017, when the Trump administration attempted to terminate it, and there's no redo of this victory in the courts."
There has been talk of renegotiating the program. Trump also tweeted Friday, "I have wanted to take care of DACA recipients better than the Do Nothing Democrats, but for two years they refused to negotiate."
Melgar says he just wants a final settlement so he can continue to work and study in the U.S.
"I work full time, I go to law school, I do my part, I try to get ahead and if DACA is terminated, all of that will be quite literally for nothing," he says.