SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - The future of more than 800,000 undocumented immigrants remains uncertain after President Trump announced that he will end the DACA program.
On Saturday, local groups came together to provide support for those affected by the decision and their families.
Community leaders held a workshop giving free instruction on how to apply for DACA renewal at St. Jude Shrine of the West in Southcrest for DACA protected immigrants but only 15 people showed up. Normally, hundreds come to take part in similar workshops under normal circumstances. Organizers say it’s clear that people are scared.
“I grew up in Oceanside, moved here to San Diego, my whole school years were here in San Diego,” 25-year-old Katia Ortiz said. “You have to be tough. You have to be strong, faithful - fight not hide. We have to keep fighting.”
Ortiz renewed her status and is encouraging others who are eligible to do so, too, before it’s too late.
“A lot of people are scared,” Ortiz said. “People are scared that immigration is going to show up to community events.”
Organizer Vanessa Cecena said any current DACA recipients afraid to give out their information shouldn’t be
“When it comes to people who are applying for DACA renewals, immigration already has their information so if they’re eligible to renew they should renew,” Cecena said.
The DACA renewal request deadline is October 5 and the only people eligible are those whose benefits expire between September 5 of this year and March 5, 2018.
Earlier this week, President Trump had dinner with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and discussed the future of DACA. Though Pelosi and Schumer declared victory, the President denied any deal. However, he did suggest through a tweet that DACA recipients deserve to stay.
The future, Ortiz said, is unclear.
“It’s tough,” Ortiz said. “I get asked that question all the time. I honestly don’t know how to answer it. We hate to think about what’s going to happen after it’s gone, but we have to.”
Ortiz has two siblings who were born in the United States. She is the only one in her immediate family that is a dreamer and said she would someday like to pursue a career in psychology.
More community events just like the one Saturday at St. Jude's will be held throughout the county in the coming weeks. Below is a complete list of sites and dates.
Sunday Sept. 17
4575-B Mission Gorge Place
San Diego, CA 92120
Tuesday Sept. 19
Holy Trinity Church
405 Ballard St., El Cajon
Wednesday Sept. 20
Mission San Luis Rey
4050 Mission Ave., Oceanside
Thursday Sept. 28
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
4177 Marlborough Ave.