Families of immigrants face fear and uncertainty with impending end to DACA

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Protests took place around the country today, as President Trump and the Justice Department publicly announced a plan to rescind the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The Madrid family

President Trump has given Congress six months to pass its own immigration plan for people brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Tonight, supporters of DACA gathered at the J.C. Nichols Fountain in response to today's announcement.

“It's upsetting. I'm kind of nervous, and I don't know, so many feelings at the same time,” said 35-year-old Saul Madrid, who is considered a "Dreamer."

He came to the United States from Mexico when he was 12 years old. He's now married and has two kids who were born here in the U.S.

The program protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to America as children from deportation.

The President's decision to end the program worries Madrid, who is now left wondering what it could mean not just for himself, but for his wife and children.

“I'm the only one working, providing, so it does kind of worry you,” Madrid added.

“They know no other country but the United States of America. They were brought here before they had any say in the matter,” said Andrea Martinez, an immigration attorney with Martinez Immigration Law.

Martinez said some DACA immigrants have other forms of relief available, like being married to a U.S. citizen.

“There are 800,000 DACA recipients right now, and not all of them have a plan B, not all of them have another option available to them,” Martinez explained.

Tuesday started a six-month period where the Trump administration has given Congress time to act.

DACA recipients will be able to work until the expiration date of their current work authorization document.

“DACA is not, and has never been, a status. It is a protection from removal, and it also provides the DACA recipient with a work card, an employment authorization document, a social security number, and a driver's license,” Martinez explained.

Nearly 7,000 people in Kansas, and almost 4,000 people in Missouri will be impacted, according to the ACLU of Missouri.

“I just try not to think about it. I just focus on what I'm doing, keep living my life,” Madrid said. “I don't know what can happen. We're in the balance right now.”

The Department of Homeland Security also stopped processing new applications for the program Tuesday.

Martinez Immigration Law LLC will be hosting a free info session on Tuesday, Sept 12 at 6:30 p.m. at their office to explain "DACA Alternatives" to those who would like to know if they have any other legal immigration options.

You can call (816) 491-8105 or email info@martinezimmigration.com to RSVP.

Martinez said the best way for members of the public to voice their opinion right now is to call your Senators and Representatives.

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