Former dreamer speaks out after federal court rules DACA illegal

The future of thousands of undocumented immigrants is unknown after a federal appeals court ruled DACA to be illegal.
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 10:38 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - A new court ruling leaves thousands of undocumented immigrants’ futures in the air.

“There’s a sense of numbness, this idea that we’re here over and over and over again,” said Marrisa Molina, director for “But also, I think, this deep sense of anger.”

Molina should know. She came to Colorado from Mexico when she was nine years old. “Growing up, I, you know, was very aware of my undocumented status,” said Molina. “I didn’t really understand that until much later until I was going to college and facing all these obstacles as the documented student.”

In 2012 the Obama administration created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA. That shields undocumented immigrants from deportation. “It just transformed my life,” said Molina.

This week the fifth circuit ruled DACA is illegal. The three-judge panel said the Obama administration didn’t have the legal authority to create DACA, affirming a ruling from a federal judge in Texas in 2021. Now the court of appeals wants the judge in Texas to take another look, following revisions from the Biden administration. “...knowing the kind of limbo that you exist in, knowing that you can’t plan your life very far ahead because you don’t know whether the program is going to be in place or not delaying decisions,” said Molina.

Molina said there’s only one solution, “I think the long court battles that we’ve engaged in have shown us time and time again that there’s only one path forward, and that is legislative action by congress.” For now, the lives of 600,000 dreamers remain in legal jeopardy.

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