Immigrant communities are watching anxiously as President Trump's new enforcement strategy takes shape. APM Reports' Sasha Aslanian has been following undocumented college students in three states. The students are currently benefiting from "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," a program created by the Obama administration in 2012 that made them a lower priority for deportation.
Only a small percentage of the approximately 750,000 DACA recipients is pursuing higher education. Cost is a major barrier. Some see education as an act of resistance. Others say they're trying to focus on their studies and not let fear deplete them.
Concern about family members who don't have DACA weighs on them.
In this episode, we hear from Valentina, a young woman with DACA status from Georgia who is studying at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Valentina said it's been extremely stressful to be far away from her family during this tense time.
"I've been the third parent," said Valentina. "I've been the right-hand person for my family. So to be a thousand miles away and not being able to help them, it honestly makes my college education harder. I noticed that because I talk to other students that have the privilege and the luxury of going to bed calm, and not having to think about, 'Did Dad get home safe? Are my siblings fed? Do they have what they need?'"
We also hear from an advocate of tougher enforcement who is pleased by the Trump administration's early moves on immigration enforcement.