DACA Deadline: Local ‘Dreamers’ apply for more time

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- On Tuesday several local people enrolled in the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program raced to beat an October 5th deadline to extend their legal work status.

Earlier in September, President Donald Trump ordered an eventual end to the DACA program, which allows undocumented citizens who arrived in the United States as young children a two-year work permit and the ability to obtain a driver’s license.

Both Republicans and Democrats are working on a replacement program to offer the so-called "Dreamers" a pathway to legal citizenship. But if Congress can’t come up with a replacement, beginning in March, many Dreamers could be deported back to countries they’ve never really considered home.

Victor Morales came to the United States from Mexico as an undocumented citizen when he was only 10 years old with his parents.

In 2012, Morales enrolled in the DACA program.

“That meant the world to me,” Morales recalled. “I was finally able to get a driver’s license. To drive. I was finally able to afford to go to college.”

Morales is a full-time college student who also works full-time at a metro area telecommunications company. On Tuesday night Morales volunteered at the non-profit "El Centro" in Kansas City, Kansas to help others like him.

“I feel like I’m living the American dream as of now,” Morales said. “After DACA expires? We’ll see."