CROSS HILL, S.C. — The Santiago family fled Mexico about 21 years ago to come to the United States for a better life.
Eloisa was only 2-years-old but remembers the sacrifices her parents made.
“They have worked their entire life to provide for me and my sisters,” she said.
The family now lives in Cross Hill, which is located near Greenville. Eloisa now attends college and owns a car dealership.
She said the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) helped her live the life she’s always dreamed of.
“When President Obama came up with the DACA program it allowed me to me to get my license and gave me the opportunity to go to college,” Eloisa said.
DACA protects so-called “dreamers.” More than 780,000 young immigrants brought here illegally by their parents are protected from being deported while they work or attend school.
While thankful for the program, Eloisa says it still has challenges especially when it comes to college.
“Even though I live here, I’m still considered an international student and still have to pay out-of-state tuition,” she said.
But she says those challenges don’t compare to what she’ll face if President Trump ends DACA.
“I am concerned for me and my family,” said Eloisa. “If the DACA program is taken away, we will have to go back to Mexico. I do not know the lifestyle there my home is here.”
Trump is expected to make an announcement Tuesday. Forcing his hand are nine state Attorney Generals who are threatening to sue the administration unless Trump scraps DACA by September 5.
“I worked to open a business here that helps other citizens,” Eloisa said. “I pay taxes, I own a home and land here. I would lose everything. My family will as well and I will get thrown into a country I know nothing about.”
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