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DACA Recipients React Nationwide To Supreme Court Decision


The Supreme Court decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival policy is good news for the 650,000 immigrants protected by it. We checked in with some to see what the decision means to them.

JUAN ESCALANTE: My name is Juan Escalante and arrived at the United States when I was 11 years old from Caracas, Venezuela. Obviously, emotions have ran high for a number of months, if not years, right, you know? When the Trump administration first sought to terminate this program, it was 2017, and now we're in 2020. And I think that the main thing in here to remember is that they chose to engage in this fight. They did not have to do anything with the program. And instead, what they're finding now is that instead of swaying public opinion to their end, the pendulum swung the other way.

JESSICA MORENO CAYCHO: Hi. I'm Jessica Moreno Caycho. I am currently studying for my MFA at the University of Washington. I'm originally from Peru. It felt weird to kind of take that as a win, especially with everything going on right now. But it did give me hope for more people to really start getting into defunding the police because as we defund the police, that will also mean fewer deportations and more safety for people - for, like, everyone - you know, more safety than what DACA can actually give us.

KASSANDRA ALEMAN: My name is Kassandra Aleman. I've had DACA since 2013. And my family is from Monterrey, Mexico. I'm feeling very happy, very excited. I think it was the best outcome that we could have gotten regarding DACA. So for me, it means that I can actually apply to law school, which is something that I've been putting on hold. 2017, I was supposed to take the LSAT in September. And so I had to cancel it because I was like, I don't even know what my future in this country is.

JIN PARK: My name's Jin Park. My parents and I moved to the U.S. from South Korea when I was 7. The first thing I felt was just - really just a profound sense of relief, more than anything. I felt, like, a huge burden had been lifted. Being straddled in these two worlds of - right? - medicine and also immigration has just been - it's sometimes been discouraging. It makes you realize that the systems that we've built can often really fail us. But it also gives me a lot of hope as well that dedicating my time to this can really help people, and it can really make a difference.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was Jin Park from New York, Kassandra Aleman in Texas, Jessica Moreno Caycho in Washington state and Juan Escalante in Washington, D.C. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.