President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program gave about 800,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children the opportunity to come out of the shadows and legally work and study. DACA allowed Dreamers to build their lives without fear of getting deported for five years, but now President Trump has announced he is ending the program.
Trump has given representatives and senators a six-month window to enact legislation protecting undocumented youth, but it's unclear whether that will be possible in the Republican-controlled Congress. In the meantime, Dreamers across the country fear what will happen after the six months are up.
And while Trump has said he has "great love" for DACA recipients and is urging Congress to take action, others like Obama have said the current lawmakers' decision is ultimately "about basic decency."
"This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated," he wrote in a statement. "It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be."
Before Trump's decision was announced Tuesday, we spoke with DACA recipients to find out their stories and why they consider themselves to be Americans in every way except on paper.
Ahead, six women explain what it's like to be a Dreamer in the era of Trump. We will continue to roll out their stories in full this week.