DALLAS – President Donald Trump will likely take some kind of executive action on DACA – Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals – “very shortly,” according to his press secretary, Sean Spicer, on Tuesday.
The anticipation of what Trump might do is creating anxiety for hundreds of thousands affected.
"Quite frankly I survived being undocumented for over 20 years so being undocumented is not something that's new to me,” said Romero Luna, 33, who is currently protected by DACA.
He and Jose Manuel Santoyo, 24, spent Tuesday night lining up volunteers for an exhibit at the DMA next month and trying to take their mind off politics.
Both men are so-called dreamers who were brought to the United States as undocumented children.
"I came to the U.S. in April 2001 with my mother and three siblings. We were fleeing cartel violence in Michoacan, Mexico," said Santoyo.
Four pieces of paper now make them worry what's next. It's a draft of an executive order leaked to Vox.com last month which shows President Trump might phase out protections for 752,000 dreamers like them by renewing their work permit cards when they expire this summer.
"You know a lot of people see it as a piece of paper. But in reality it's freedom for us," said Luna.
Romero is studying at UNT. Santoyo graduated from SMU and is returning to pursue a Masters degree.
Like many, they hope a bipartisan bill called the Bridge Act passes first which would lock in their status.
"For me personally, there is a bit of anxiety knowing – or just not knowing what's going to happen,” explained Santoyo.
There is no guarantee President Trump will sign the leaked draft of that executive order as it was written.
Trump will prioritize, his spokesman said on Tuesday by first deporting undocumented immigrants with criminal records before deciding what to do about the rest like Romero and Santoyo.