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How DACA’s Legal Limbo Could Impact Some Angelenos

A Latina woman with long, dark hair in a braid resting on her left shoulder, wears a teal dress with long-sleeves and white flowers and stands in a backyard with the dark gray stucco wall of a house to the right of frame and a grassy area of with a rock path to the left of frame. On the ground there are various green plants lining the stucco wall. The photo is taken from below as she looks out towards the right of frame.
Edith Najera, 36, stands in the backyard of her family’s home on April 21, 2023 in Gardena, Calif. When Najera first bought the house with her sister, the backyard did not have grass or plants. The family renovated the backyard together. “To get to buy this house was my ‘American Dream,’ but then I realized that there is more to it,” Najera said, who has worked since her teenage years and has found it difficult to save money. “People work so hard for the ‘American Dream’ and once I got it, I didn’t have much to show for it.”
(Pablo Unzueta
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For more than 800,000 people, the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, has given young undocumented folks the ability to live and work in the United States legally, of course with some conditions.

Walking On Eggshells As A DACA Recipient

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But living a quality life in the U.S. means having to live an existence that’s in a constant state of uncertainty.

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I’ve shared the stories about my colleagues Brian De Los Santos and Chris Farias and the precarious position they feel like they are in as DACA recipients in L.A., even a decade after the program launched. The two are among almost 80,000 DACA recipients who live in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim region, the largest population of any other metropolitan area in the country. You’ve also likely listened to Brian’s special How To LA series about the risks he took to travel back to Mexico for the first time in 30 years after applying for advance parole.

This week, court filings are due in a critical Texas case that could determine the fate of DACA. In her latest article for LAist, my colleague Leslie Berestein Rojas writes about the legal wrangling that got us to this point and what’s at stake if the court does not rule in the program’s favor. She also spent time with Edith Nájera, another local DACA recipient who also speaks about the challenges of living in this legal limbo that is currently DACA.

Read more here.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • California Assemblymember Mike Fong (D-Alhambra) proposed two bills spurred by January’s  shooting in Monterey Park. . My colleague Frank Stoltze has more details about what these gun-related pieces of legislation would mean for Californians if they get passed. 
  • Disney is planning to lay off  thousands of employees this week. Earlier this year, Disney officials announced cutting 7,000 jobs in order to save $5.5 billion. 
  • Culver City’s pilot project MOVE Culver City could stay, or it could go. My colleague Gillian Morán Pérez has more details on the initiative. Stay updated on LAist to see what city council members voted on Monday night. 
  • California’s construction unions are powerful and hold legal weight. That’s why state lawmakers look for their support when it comes to housing bills. 
  • Do you have a Hyundai or a Kia? Turns out that they lack security features that help prevent thieves from stealing. California is among the 17 states (and the District of Columbia) that are urging for a national recall of those vehicles due to a “safety crisis” nationwide. 
  • Decision day is almost here. Students everywhere must soon decide where they plan to go to college. The pressure is on the University of California and California State University systems because the state has tasked them with enrolling a higher number of California students this year. 
  • ICYMI missed there were a number of big name departures in media, kicking off Sunday with Jeff Shell at NBCUniversal who was fired because of an “inappropriate relationship” within the company. Then on Monday morning came news of the agreement between Tucker Carlson and Fox to “part ways” and the termination of CNN’s Don Lemon.
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

Wait... One More Thing

Letting Loose At Music Festivals

A stage is lighted at dusk with a large crowd gathered in front. Mountains are visible beyond.
Jai Wolf performs at the Sahara tent during the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 16
(Matt Winkelmeyer
Getty Images for Coachella)
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Coachella. Rolling Loud. Lollapalooza. Something is in the air. It’s music festival season. There’s a feeling of freedom and bliss when one goes to a fest with friends to hear great bands. I know I had the time of my life when I went to AfroPunk for the very first time in Brooklyn, New York. I felt free to be me.

But attending these events isn’t just about seeing your favorite musicians and the eccentric, trendiest fashion. It’s the whole vibe. NPR’s Pilar Galan wrote about the enjoyment of letting it all out and going with the flow. She calls attending music festivals “primal” in that sense:

“Despite their excesses and absurdities, there is something primal about attending music festivals. At Coachella, the aroma of marijuana lingering with the desert dust was redolent. The discomfort is some part of the authenticity. The sprinkler of ambiguous liquids glitter bodies. As festivalgoers we untether, if only for a moment. Hypnotized by the performer, drifting through a music- (and, for many, drug-) induced haze, making our way across a soundscape satiating all flexible parts of our bodies.”

Read more of Galvan’s perspective on music festivals here.

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