The next president could end temporary protections for undocumented college students.
The outcome of next week's presidential election could have swift consequences for one group of people: undocumented immigrants. In 2012, President Obama used executive action to protect some undocumented young people from the threat of deportation. Four years later, 741,546 young people who came to the U.S. as children have been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Depending on who is elected next week, that temporary protection could disappear.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump promised he'd do away with DACA on Day 1 of his administration: "Cancel unconstitutional executive orders and enforce all immigration laws," Trump said in Phoenix in August.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton said she would do everything in her power to protect Obama's executive actions and would introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship within her first 100 days in office.
"I will make this a big political issue," Clinton said on MSNBC in February, "because we need to keep those young people working, going to school, being productive members of our society."
Estefania Navarro, 22, came to the United States at age 3 and had to hide in plain sight from the beginning. "My mom told me that if anybody asked about my status I'm just -- I'm a U.S. citizen," she said. "So I guess after saying it so many times you actually start believing it."
Navarro worked hard and graduated from her Minneapolis public high school with honors. But when it came time to apply to college, her undocumented status was a major road block. Her guidance counselor didn't offer much hope.
"And she said, 'Well you have good grades but they're not excellent grades. You're not going to get full ride scholarships and you could take loans but then you need a Social Security [number] to take out loans.' That conversation just was my wakeup call. That is, 'Estefania, you don't belong here.'"
Now, protected by Obama's order, she's working on her second associate's degree and mentoring 45 undocumented students at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. She feels anguish that her mother still has to live in the shadows.
America is conflicted about what to do with young people like Navarro, and nowhere is that more evident than the presidential campaign.
The uncertainty is top of mind for Navarro. She's picked a course of study that could potentially serve her if she had to go back to Mexico: computer forensics. She reasons that she's started over in a new country before, and she could do it again. But she doesn't want to.
Nearly three quarters of a million young people are in the same boat.
Listen to this week's podcast to hear more from Estefania Navarro and others affected by DACA.
And here's how states approach tuition benefits for undocumented immigrants.