National News

They're united in friendship but divided by DACA

Posted December 5, 2017 9:42 a.m. EST

— Like the board games they love playing together, Aldo Mendoza and Anthony Paz say their US citizenship status is dictated by chance. And they have no choice but to play the hands they've been dealt.

On the surface, the young Latino men share a lot of similarities: They go to the same college, love comic books, and, when they're not in class or working, they spend their time with their families or their girlfriends.

But one big thing sets the two students apart.

One is undocumented, a so-called Dreamer under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children from deportation. The other holds US citizenship. (To learn which is which, watch the video above.)

The Trump administration wants to kill the program. If so, it could disrupt the lives of more than 700,000 young adults.

It's now up to Congress to save it. And pressure is mounting on lawmakers to act before the end of the year.

"How you're born, it's all a matter of chance," Paz says. "It's incredible how much power a piece of paper that the government has, how much control and how much effect that has on how someone lives their life."