Since Donald Trump took office, he has taken aim at the undocumented community. He began by making a larger number of undocumented immigrants – even those who hadn’t committed crimes – targets for deportation. This week, his administration delivered another blow to this community by putting an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has shielded nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to come out of the shadows.
Despite Trump’s assurances that he had a “big heart” for the beneficiaries, the program hung in the balance for months, taking an emotional toll on the young immigrants who trusted the government with their personal information. When a group of attorneys general threatened to sue the government on September 5 if the program didn’t come to an end, Trump bent to their will. On Tuesday, after weeks of rumors, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions officially announced the end of the program (though the government will honor the two-year deadlines and allow some to reapply).
As DACA recipients make sense of everything that’s happening in these scary and frustrating times, undocumented activist Juan Escalante has put into words the fear and devastation that comes with the end of the program in a Twitter thread. But regardless of the emotional turmoil and despair, he also knows that now it’s time to fight for their futures. Check out his poignant thread below: