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As DACA Deadline Looms, Florida Immigrants, Students Face Uncertain Future

Activists for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Photo: University of Colorado Boulder
Activists for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children face an uncertain future in Florida and across the country as the the federal program that's given them paperwork for school and jobs and shielded them from deportation faces a pivotal moment under the Trump Administration. Trump is expected to decide by Sept. 5 whether to end or renew the program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The administration faces pressure from attorneys general of ten states to end DACA. Twice as many attorneys general have urged the president to continue the program. Initiated under executive order by former President Barack Obama, Trump pledged to end the program during his presidential campaign but has not made a final decision since taking office.

The end of DACA is especially worrisome for Florida college students. They are returning to campus this August to engage with administrators while facing escalating rhetoric on immigration and racial tension, all while the DACA program faces an uncertain future.

Reporter Crystal Chavezwith Orlando's WMFEjoins Gulf Coast Live to share her reporting on DACA students in Central Florida, how their campuses are responding to a possible end to DACA, and other immigration and racial issues on campus.

Also joining the program is Bryan Oliva-Infante of the FGCU "Dream Team," discussing his work with DACA students and other recipients in Southwest Florida.

And joining the program by phone is Isa Rodriguez, an organizer with the Florida Immigrant Coalition, who is working on outreach and education to DACA recipients across Florida.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
Julie Glenn is the host of Gulf Coast Live. She has been working in southwest Florida as a freelance writer since 2007, most recently as a regular columnist for the Naples Daily News. She began her broadcasting career in 1993 as a reporter/anchor/producer for a local CBS affiliate in Quincy, Illinois. After also working for the NBC affiliate, she decided to move to Parma, Italy where she earned her Master’s degree in communication from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Her undergraduate degree in Mass Communication is from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.