(WJBK) - Nationwide protests are expected Tuesday as young immigrants fight to keep Obama-era protections President Donald Trump vows to dismantle, while they prepare for the worst.
A second day of protests is anticipated amid reports that Trump will announce that he's doing away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects those brought into the country illegally as children. Here in Detroit, a DACA rally is planned Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at Western International High School.
At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will address the DACA program. Watch in the YouTube live stream below or tap here if you can't see the stream.
The young immigrants are preparing for the unknown, with Trump expected to end the program but with a six-month delay to give Congress time to decide if it wants to address the status of the law.
Some young immigrants worry they will have to work under the table in lower-wage jobs, while others hope to persevere or even start their own businesses.
The participants in this program, often called Dreamers, are all young people and children. Many came here at such a young age, they don't even remember the country where they came from. Juan Gonzalez is one of those.
"I'm 24. I was born in Mexico, I came here when I was a year old. I came as a baby, so it's not like I had any input in this; it was just the situation I was put in. I was raised here in America. I've always found this to be my home," he tells us.
For people in the same situation, there is no path to citizenship, which is why the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was implemented in 2012.
"Once DACA was implemented, it allowed me to get a better job with better pay. I was able to buy a car. Now I go to school full time at Wayne State, and I work full time at Quicken Loans," Gonzalez says.
All that could be taken away soon, if the White House announces Tuesday an end to the program. This program's end would put 800,000 Dreamers across the nation in jeopardy.
"Once this law gets repealed, there's a six month window for Congress to do something. If they don't have status in that six months, they could face deportation," says Clarence Dass, an immigration attorney.
Dass says even if President Donald Trump has decided to end the program, there is still hope of avoiding deportation.
"The first thing they should do is contact an immigration professional, someone that's either an attorney or that works in immigration," Dass suggests.
Qualifying for another status, such as refugee or asylum, could offer protection. Gonzalez, however, has already looked into those options, and says he doesn't meet the requirements.
"If DACA gets revoked, it's gonna affect me in a way that, I'm gonna lose my job, I'm not gonna be able to afford school, might lose my car, I bought a house, too, might lose that, not to mention my family might be separated," he says.
What will also be lost is his American dream to serve in the military and get his law degree.
"I would urge President Trump to keep it in place as it is now, just temporarily, until Congress figures out a solution for it to give us a pathway to citizenship, because this is our home," Gonzalez adds.
Obviously, an end to DACA could greatly impact southeast Michigan, our large Middle Eastern and Mexican populations in particular.
A rally to protect DACA recipients is planned Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at Western International High School.
The Associated Press contributed to this report