FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – “I just can’t imagine starting a brand new life.”
20-year-old Carlos Lopez came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 7 years old. To him, this is home.
The mechanical engineering sophomore at IPFW is one of the thousands of DACA recipients unsure what’s next after Trump decided to end DACA. “I wanted to breakdown and cry. Like what am I going to do now? I’m going to lose everything I achieved through DACA.”
Trump has called on Congress to take action. There is a six month delay for people currently enrolled. Those whose permit expires between now and then, which is March 5th, can apply for renewal. But that has to be done by October 5th.
That’s where groups like Neighborhood Christian Legal come in. They’ve been hosting clinics to offer legal advice. They will be having one at IPFW to help those submitting their paperwork. “If it’s rejected, they’re probably going to miss that deadline. So, our goal here is to help them package all of those things, have attorneys (volunteer attorneys as well as myself and a couple other immigration attorneys) look it over in hopes that it will be correct the first submittal,” Desiree Koger-Gustafson said.
As for Carlos Lopez, his permit expires next year but he’ll continue asking questions and exploring options. “We’re all trying to contribute to the United States. We aren’t part of the stereotype. We aren’t here to kill or steal, whatever; we are here to make a difference in the United States and hopefully show that through DACA we’re progressing. We were giving an opportunity and we took advantage of it.”
The DACA clinic is from noon to three. There is no cost for the clinic but the petition fee is $495. Bring two passport photos, a money order for $495 as well as a work authorization card. Click here for more information.