A Milwaukee lawyer who handles immigration cases visited Green Bay on Wednesday to give legal advice to DACA recipients after President Donald Trump announced his administration is ending DACA, unless Congress legalizes the program in the next six months.
“I want to inform people how they’re still eligible, and basically just give them the truth, you know, valid information,” John Sesini, of Sesini Law Group, said. “DACA has not been terminated yet.”
No new DACA applications can be filed as of September 5th due to President Trump’s announcement.
However, Sesini says that immigrants who have work authorizations can refile their DACA applications, if their current permits do not expire after a certain date in March of next year.
“Those whose work authorizations expire prior to March 5th, 2018 can refile,” he explained.
Those who are eligible to refile will gain another two years in the United States with their DACA authorization.
One young woman moved from Mexico to the United States with her family when she was four. She’s now 26 years-old.
Her permit expires months after the March 5th deadline, so if the Trump administration or Congress does not keep DACA in place, she will legally have to return to Mexico.
“Once my permit expires, there’s nothing else,” Marisa Leza, a DACA recipient, said.
She has lived in Green Bay for years, and now works at UW-Green Bay.
“Luckily, I was able to get a full ride scholarship to St. Norbert College, I was able to graduate, and now I’m able to work because of DACA, at the institution of UW-GB,” Leza said. “But it’s been a struggle. Why? Because my dad was actually deported three years ago.”
Leza says her DACA authorization will expire in November of 2018.
“For us, as youth, we were brought here without an option, right, that’s the main message for DACA recipients,” she said. “We are here because this is our homeland, we don’t know anything else.”
Leza plans to speak about DACA next Monday at UW-Green Bay.