Wilfredo Diaz says he “never thought this day would come.” And yet here it is. President Donald Trump
is expected to announce today the end of the program that allowed undocumented immigrants brought here as children to stay in the United States without fear of deportation.
“I am confused and scared that this is actually going to happen,” said Diaz, a Guatemala native who came to the United States at age 9. “I don’t know what I will do if I am deported.”
Diaz is one of an estimated 840,000 undocumented immigrants who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, created by executive order in 2012 by President Obama.
Despite his fear that he and his family could be deported, Diaz agreed to participate in Michigan Divided, Bridge Magazine’s year-long series about 11 Michigan individuals and families of different backgrounds and beliefs. The project is an effort to understand the political and social issues that divide us, and the common ground that just might bring us together.
In March, Diaz said he agreed to participate in the series “because I want people to know we’re not here to harm the country or commit crimes. We’re here to pursue our dreams and a better life.”
Trump is expected to announce the termination of the DACA program today, with an end date in six months.
Because Diaz signed up for the DACA program, federal authorities “know where I am, where I work, everything about me. Before that, I was a ghost.”
Diaz grew up in Guatemala in a mud and straw house with a dirt floor. “I came here at such a young age that getting sent back would crush all my dreams,” Diaz said Monday. “I would have to start all over there and try to get used to the way of life there.
“I have a lot of friends that are also Dreamers and I know that they are feeling scared just like me.”
“If I could say something to Trump, I would ask him to not go through with this,” Diaz said, “because it would crush all of our futures and we would all be devastated.”