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Column: An Uneasy Life On The Pandemic Frontlines For DACA Workers As SCOTUS Decision Looms

(Illustration By Chava Sanchez/ Photo courtesy of Gabriela Sanchez)
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The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether the Trump Administration can end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program that gave temporary, renewable protection from deportation to young immigrants without legal status who were brought to the U.S. as children.

In the nearly 10 years since DACA began, many recipients have built entire lives, had families, and landed good jobs — in many cases, essential jobs. Like the one held by Mary Kate, who risks exposure to COVID-19 daily in a large grocery store. Then she disinfects her work clothes, comes home, showers, and frets about the possibility of being deported to a country she left at age three.

"'I'm so worried that at any given moment they will take it away," she said. "I depend on it to actually continue working. And it can end at any moment and they can come for me and take me away from my family."

If that feeling sounds an awful lot like the existential fear most people have about getting COVID-19, that's because it is.


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