Arizonans wait for decision on DACA

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Immigration activists in Arizona are nervously watching the White House – and President Trump’s Twitter feed – for an announcement about the fate of DACA.

The program provides protection from deportation and work permits to nearly 28,000 people in Arizona who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Across the country, nearly 800,000 people are enrolled in DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

[RELATED: President Trump considers nixing DACA, recipients respond]

President Trump railed against the Obama-era program during the campaign and there are reports he could announce an end to it as early as Friday. However, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Thursday that a "final decision on that front has not been made."

DACA recipients and supporters rallied outside the ICE office in Phoenix Thursday, their third day of demonstrations there, to urge the president to keep the program.

[RELATED: Board won't stop in-state tuition for eligible immigrants]

To qualify for DACA, migrants must have entered the U.S. before turning 16 and meet other requirements, including having no serious criminal record and living in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007.

“If DACA ends, I feel like I'm going to have to go back into the shadows again and I don't want that,” said DACA recipient Sany Villatoro. “I want to be out and about for my child.”

[RELATED: 'Dreamers' encouraged by AZ Board of Regents letter to Trump]

Ending or phasing out DACA would put recipients at risk for deportation and cut off their legal right to work, and access to driver’s licenses.

A study by the Center for American progress, a Democratic think tank, estimated that removing DACA recipients from the workforce would cost the U.S. $460 billion in lost GDP over the next decade.

Critics of the program say DACA recipients take away jobs that would otherwise go to unemployed citizens.

Ten Republican-led states have threatened to sue the Trump administration if DACA is not ended by Sept. 5.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

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Derek StaahlDerek Staahl is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor who loves covering stories that matter most to Arizona families.

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Derek Staahl

This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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