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Possible deal with DACA program brings relief to local recipient - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Possible deal with DACA program brings relief to local recipients

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

Reports of a possible deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is giving some recipients of the program piece of mind. 

Wednesday night reports surfaced President Trump and top Democratic Party leaders; Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader and Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader reached an agreement for the DACA program.

President Trump later tweeting "No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote."

For one local recipient the news of a possible change made her feel better after last week's announcement that the program could be ending.

"It is relieving and a bit reassuring," said Nayda Benitez, a senior student at University of Colorado Colorado Springs, "I'm not trying to just believe anything that's put out there."

Nayda Benitez arrived in the United States when she was 7 years old. 

Her parents immigrated to the country illegally from Mexico- for Benitez, Colorado Springs is home. 

Benitez, now 21 says becoming a student at University of Colorado Colorado Springs was a challenging road. 

'I was able to get most of college paid for through scholarships and through a lot of hard work and preparation because I realized early on as an undocumented person that it was going to be hard," said Benitez. 

She added that she felt the need to "out-beat" her peers and work harder to make an affordable education a reality. 

"DACA was never a permanent solution it was only a band-aid," said Benitez, a recipient of the DACA program.

Benitez says while she's unsure of the future for DACA, she hopes a proposed bi-partisan 'DREAM Act' comes to fruition. 

The Development, Relief, Education, for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act could allow recipients of the DACA program to immediately be granted permanent resident (CPR) status. 

After the CPR status, they could apply for lawful permanent residence (LPR) provided they complete 1 of 3 requirements which include 2 years of higher education, 2 years of military service, or 3 years of employment.

If a recipient maintains LPR status for 5 years, they could then apply for the naturalization process.

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