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Brave ‘Dreamer’ shares mental trauma as Trump mulls DACA’s end


A woman holds up a sign in support of the Obama administration program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, during an immigration reform rally, at the White House.

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

President Donald Trump is expected to announce plans Tuesday to end an Obama Administration program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that gives work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived as children — also known as “Dreamers.”

The controversial rollout of Trump’s anti-immigration campaign promise is already being marred by public outcries from some of the biggest and most powerful U.S. companies including Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, Netflix, and Google.

Now, an actual Dreamer who is currently living under fear of having his work visa revoked has posted some deep insights into the mental anguish being caused by Trump’s looming decision.

Juan Escalante, a journalist working legally in the U.S. because of the DACA bill, posted a long thread on Twitter to describe just how terrifying life can be when you and your entire family are under constant threat of being deported at any moment.

“Mental gymnastics occur while you’re at work/home. You find yourself asking what if DACA ends tomorrow [and] Trump deports my parents,” Escalante said in one of the tweets

“This is where most of us find ourselves, at the corner of mental exhaustion, where fear, anxiety, [and] doubt meet, but we refuse to give up,” he added.

Indeed, the mental stress can be toxic to people’s health. This is why the American Psychological Association (APA) recently issued a statement saying, “As psychologists, we are committed to policies that keep families together.”

DACA currently protects about 800,000 immigrants who entered the country by the age of 16 and most of whom were brought by their parents — without a choice in the matter. APA president Antonio E. Puente and other professional psychologists have warned that breaking up families would have devastating consequences for victim’s mental health including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic disorder.

“Sending somebody back to a country they fled, where the status quo is uncertainty, chaos, and violence,” Puente recently told Mashable, “seems at minimum unethical and, more deeply, unbelievable.”

Escalante seems to agree. “The psychological trauma is real,” he said in a tweet. “Extremely really. [sic] Which is why I urge everyone to circulate mental health resources from @UNITEDWEDREAM.”

“Please take care of yourselves,” he added. “And if you’re an ally, please take care of Dreamers now more than ever…Everything helps. We need it.”

Trump is expected to formally announce his decision on Tuesday, according to Politico. The president will then most likely kick the issue over to Capitol Hill, giving Congress a six-month window to act on his decision.

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