Dreamer worrries for future of DACA program

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Iowa City, IOWA (KCRG-TV9) "It's hard. These are people's lives and he's playing with them. That's how I feel," said Cesar Morales.

Playing with people's lives. That's how one Dreamer describes the President's actions with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. The program allows people whose parents brought them to the U.S. as illegally children to go to school and work while also avoiding deportation.

Earlier this week, President Trump has all but promised to sign "any bill that comes across his desk" on immigration policies. But then he said he won't sign any bill unless a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico is part of it.

One Eastern Iowa man went through DACA in the past and has gained citizenship but he's worried about the future for others, that could now be in limbo.

"I've been here my whole life. I don't really know Mexico like that. Never really been there"

Caesar Morales says he considers Iowa home. He's one of thousands of people who have become young professionals through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program but their future is now in jeopardy.

"If DACA is not renewed by 2020 some 800 DACA kids, the status will be as illegals and they will be subject to deportation," said Former U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau.

Morales says throughout his path to citizenship, there was still fear in the back of his mind.

"I had to miss the exam because I had to get my fingerprints, which was really scary because by that point I was like 'what if they don't give it to me? What if they detain me?" said Morales.

Morales was able to get on the path to citizenship after his marriage more than a year ago. But others may not have other options to stay here. Now U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau says if the program isn't renewed, it could mean as many as one thousand people getting deported a day.

"Word to the wise is there's going to be some sort of prioritization so that any of them that have had more severe problems may jump up in the queue and are more subject to deportation," said Techau.

He worries we're not focusing on the right thing.

"Do you put your resources going after kids that were brought into this country without any of their permission I mean that's just where they grew up kind of happenstance as oppose to 'we have a lot of really bad people that are doing crimes," said Morales.

Morales says all dreamers should be protected. After all, for most it wasn't their choice.

"They didn't have a say coming here I didn't have a say," said Morales.

The Department of Justice has said that if DACA doesn't get renewed, they will be challenging it.