Local DACA recipient speaks out on future of the program & Trump's tweets

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - President Donald Trump has called a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program "dead."

The president tweeted Sunday morning that he believed it would encourage more illegal immigration into the U.S.

The program, known as DACA, lays out strict guidelines in order to give some legal rights, including protection from deportation, to people brought to the country illegally as children.

They must have arrived before 2012, be in school or have a degree or serve in the military, and have a clean criminal record.

Fatima Rahman is a freshman at Case Western Reserve University.

The first in her family to graduate high school, she is attending college on a full scholarship. She became eligible for DACA when she turned 15. She's been in the U.S. since she was a year old.

"I remember my first time having DACA and having to pay my taxes for the first time, and I know, like, everyone is dreadful about that, but I was super excited. I was like, yes, I can do this. All these things were very exciting to me," she said.

Rahman is not eligible for a change of status through any program other than DACA.

She says she's been worried about her future in the country since last September, when President Trump announced he was ending the DACA program, an executive order under Obama. DACA ended in May, but appeals courts have kept it alive for now.

With Congress unable to strike a deal, though, its future is far from certain.

"It's just really frustrating, because I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know if I'm going to be able to stay here or continue my education," said Rahman.

Trump and his supporters say that a program like DACA only incentives others to attempt to cross into the U.S.

In his Sunday morning comments ahead of an Easter service, the president referenced a caravan of migrants bound for the border, currently winding their way through Mexico.

"A lot of people are coming in, because they want to take advantage of DACA, and we're going to have to wait and see," he said.

Rahman points out that those migrants would not be allowed into the DACA program. According to the federal program's most recent numbers, just under 700,000 people living in the U.S. do.

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