Fate of Dreamers in limbo after government shutdown deal

Congress struck a deal early Friday morning to end the brief government shutdown but it didn't include anything on immigration.

Congress struck a deal early Friday morning to end the brief government shutdown but it didn't include anything on immigration.

The legal status of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers remains in limbo with less than a month until the program ends.

The government shutdown in January hinged on immigration. Democrats initially insisted on a DACA vote but eventually settled for the promise of a vote. No vote has happened yet.

"It's frustrating," said Elvis Saldias, a Dreamer in Columbus. "It's hard to watch. It is frustrating because I think there have been about three or four almost deals with the White House where the president says, 'no, not good enough' or 'no this is not what I want' or something else changes and then we're thrown in limbo."

Saldias moved to Ohio from Bolivia when he was nine years old. He hasn't gone back.

"I didn't think I was doing anything wrong," he said. "I just thought I was living my life. I was nine when I got here."

He's now 25 years old, graduated college and has a job but that could all go away if Dreamers aren't allowed to stay in the US.

"Once my status expires, I can't work. I can't drive," he said. "Something as little as driving to, I don't know, to go drop off some mail or something, that could get you pulled over."

President Trump tweeted Friday negotiations on DACA will begin after the government shutdown ends.

"It's hard to plan for the future when you don't know if you can even plan for the rest of this year," Saldias said.

Saldias remains optimistic a deal can be made to allow him to continue living his life.

"I'd see it as tragic honestly (if Dreamers aren't allowed to stay)," he said. "I don't think any side wants that. I think they'll work together to get something done. I think the American public wants something done."

Saldias' legal status runs through this summer. The White House set a deadline for DACA to end on March 5th.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending