I see this type of story playing out in my neighborhood. This is real and painful for all.
On election night, Selena, a student at Cal State, Los Angeles, in predominantly Hispanic East L.A., went to bed crying, and when she woke up the next day she was still in tears. She came to the United States from Mexico with her parents when she was two; now twenty-two, she has cobbled together the money for her education through under-the-table jobs and with help from the California DREAM Act, which provides tuition assistance for students without papers. For the past several years, Selena has had DACA, allowing her to work legitimately at a nonprofit that supports dropout prevention. Eliminating DACA is one of the more readily attainable of Trump’s anti-immigrant pledges. It is also one of the most bizarrely punitive, targeting students, high-school graduates, G.E.D. holders, and veterans who came to the United States under the age of sixteen. Like Selena, many of them migrated with their parents, and have younger siblings born in this country. Should Trump get rid of DACA, she told me, “that’s pretty much it for me. I will lose what I had and I would be back to zero. If ICE”—U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement—“were to come, they could take me.”