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Grand Rapids Dreamer reflects on DACA ruling

Daniel Caracheo was brought to the United States at just five years old.
Posted at 3:56 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 17:23:05-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Daniel Caracheo remembers traveling across the border with his mother and brother at just five years old, to come live in the United States.

“I remember my mom telling me 'shhh,'” Daniel said, reflecting on the time spent hiding in the back of a semi-truck.

From there on, Daniel says it was a new chapter in his life.

“There was this flag pole, with a massive US flag,” Caracheo said.

“If this was a story, if my life was a story, this would be the first page of a new chapter."

Daniel is a Dreamer, protected by the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA for short. That means he can live and work in the United States. Up until Thursday, that program was threatened with elimination by the Trump Administration.

A Supreme Court ruling against the Trump administration's efforts to dismantle the program means Daniel is no longer at risk of being deported.

“It’s been an insane time. With everything with the pandemic. The civil unrest. The curfew. This was a victory the undocumented community really enjoyed and we really needed it,”Caracheo said.

For Daniel, that means he gets to continue finishing his degree at Davenport with some peace of mind. But he knows the work is far from over.

“While this was A victory, a very well needed victory, it’s not the final one. There is no path to citizenship for the undocumented community,” Daniel said.