Dreamer, immigration attorney reflect on 12 years since start of DACA program

In 2023, Texas and eight other states sued to stop DACA

SAN ANTONIO – Twelve years ago, the Obama Administration rolled out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The program has given 800,000 people brought to the U.S. as kids the ability to get a driver’s license, get an education and get a job.

Andrea Rathbone Ramos said it’s also helped strengthen her relationship with her husband, who she met at Churchill High School in San Antonio.

She said he’s the first person outside of her family she has shared her legal status with.

“I feel like every day it’s a blessing,” she said.

Rathbone Ramos said she was brought to the U.S. when she was nine years old.

In 2012, Rathbone Ramos and thousands of others brought to the U.S. as kids became “Dreamers.”

“It was a breath of fresh air when DACA was announced,” said Gerardo Menchacha, an immigration attorney.

Menchacha has seen the challenges.

Last year, Texas and eight other states sued to stop DACA, calling the program unlawful.

While President Joe Biden said he won’t stop fighting for Dreamers, former President Donald Trump promises to deport migrants if re-elected.

“Is DACA in jeopardy or is it safe?” KSAT asked Menchaca.

“DACA is always going to be in jeopardy,” Menchaca said. “My clients are worried about the fact that it is a temporary program, that they can’t count on having the DACA program in five years.”

Rathbone Ramos is hoping for a permanent fix.

“Immigration policy has been broken for a very, very, very long time,” she said.

Even though she’s now married to a U.S. citizen, Rathbone Ramos said her pathway to citizenship is not guaranteed.

About the Authors

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

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