Tech DREAMers respond to DACA rescinding

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) The President's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, will directly affect some students at Virginia Tech.

According to the Tech DREAMers website, 30 undergraduate students are members, but they're not all undocumented.

One young man who was born outside the country said when the announcement came Tuesday, he wasn't surprised at all.

Virginia Tech Sophomore Arturo Roman explained, "I've been kind of reacting to it every single day for the past week. When it actually happened, I had already reacted to it. It was kind of like, oh it finally happened."

Roman was born in Mexico and moved to Rosslyn in Northern Virginia when he was just two-years old.

He hasn't been back to Mexico since, but is still undocumented.

He said was working illegally in construction as early as 12-years old.

Since DACA passed, he received multiple work permits to do other work.

"I'm actually working in a lab and I'm getting that work experience that I could use after I graduate," he said.

Another Tech DREAMers member, Vanessa Lomeli, is not an immigrant. She was born in Texas, but has friends who are undocumented.

She said she was more sad and angry when the announcement was made.

"It doesn't really affect me, but it affects a lot of people I care about and I want to see them succeed in life and that's what really matter to me," she said.

But Congress voted down similar programs before President Obama's 2012 executive order, which some felt was unconstitutional.

Lomeli said in response to that, "Obama was in the right place to do so. We spent years trying to pass legislation and it just wasn't working out, so I feel like Obama was in his right place to do what was necessary."

Roman said he's not sure what he'll do about paying all his tuition once his most recent work permit expires.

"I'll probably have to take a few semesters off and go back to construction," he said.

Roman also said he'll be applying to be an RA on campus, as the school will then pay for his room and board.

Lomeli said, moving forward, she hopes to vote people into Congress who can pass legislation, as opposed to an Executive Order.

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