PORTLAND, Ore. -- Thousands of Oregonians who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program wait and worry about what President-elect Donald Trump will do.
President Obama enacted the DACA program by executive order in 2012. It’s meant to help kids who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents. Across the country 700,000 people are part of DACA.
Fatima Preciado is one of 11,000 in Oregon who signed up for it. She's an 18-year-old freshman at Portland State University who studies social work and political science.
“When I was about three years old my family and I crossed the border illegally through Arizona,” she said.
She is one of five children and said her father is no longer in the picture, that her mother gave up a good job in Mexico to clean toilets in America.
“Just coming to this country my parents invested for a better future,” she said.
By signing up for DACA, Fatima got a guarantee that immigration agents would not bother her for at least two years and she was able to get a work permit and a driver's license, which helped her support the family and now go to college.
“I’m the first in my family to be attending a four-year university. That's something I’m really proud of,” Fatima said.
Things were going well for her until Donald Trump won the election. Now she worries he'll end the DACA program.
“Yeah that's definitely a fear,” she said.
It’s unclear what that would mean for Fatima and all the others who stepped out of the shadows.
Andrea Williams, the head of Causa, Oregon's immigration rights group, believes Trump will indeed go after undocumented immigrants.
“It’s unfortunate, there's a lot of uncertainty, but the only thing we can do is take him for Trump's word,” said Williams.
But she thinks those who are part of DACA would be the last targets not the first, since they have no criminal records.
Fatima is hopeful and thinks the danger posed by a new president will unite immigrants.
“I hope this fear is going to drive a purpose and a passion within our community to unite and stay strong,” Fatima said.