GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — “Just freedom to people really, that’s the main thing. That’s like the whole thing with the land of the free right?” said Luis a DACA recipient in Western Colorado.

Luis and 690,000 other DACA recipients nationwide are at risk of being deported if the 5th circuit court affirms Texas’s victory.

Luis has been in the United States since he was 11 years old and has been a DACA recipient since 2013. Marissa Molina of Forward US said Luis is one of 14,000 DACA recipients in Colorado.

Those 14,000 have made a huge imprint on communities around the state.

  • 92% have a high school diploma
  • 40% have some form of college education
  • 8,000 are students in the K-12 system
  • 61% are in the workforce

The DACA program has afforded Luis and others opportunities to chase their dreams in America but keeping that opportunity is costly.

“It’s one of those things that you have to renew every two years and it’s such a hard thing to do because it costs money, it costs time and laws are changing every fricking month,” said Luis.

DACA recipients pay $495 every two years to renew their protections. The United States Citizens and Immigration Services takes as long as four months to process each renewal. As of right now that cycle is never-ending.

There is currently no path to citizenship for DACA recipients. The only way forward is to establish a permanent residence by obtaining a green card.

If DACA is eliminated then that will be the worst-case scenario for Luis and all other DACA recipients.

“As far as I know you just get deported and you’re screwed. That’s all there is, nothing you can do about it,” said Luis.