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Thousands of local families could be affected by DACA repeal

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TOLEDO, OH (WNWO) - The Trump Administration announced today the end of the DACA program, which protected undocumented children from deportation.

NBC 24 sat down with Baldemar Velasquez, the president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, or FLOC, which is a labor union that represents migrant farm workers across the Midwest. And he shared he’s worried the repeal will tear local families apart.

The Obama-era DACA Program was targeted at underage children who were residing in the U.S. illegally.

“[It] allowed them to register and get work visas and social security numbers," said Velasquez. "In a sense, acknowledging their undocumented status but being protected from deportation.”

However, the Trump Administration announced on Tuesday that the program would be terminated in 6 months.

U. S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, said, “such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch,”

The hope is that timeline will put pressure on Congress to pass legislation addressing immigration reform.

In fact, President Trump tweeted a call to action for Congress early Tuesday morning – saying “Congress, get ready to do your job.”

But many are worried about what could happen if that 6-months comes and goes without any changes.

“The threat is that, because they registered, the authorities know where they live. They have their locations. Where they go to school. Where they work,” said Velasquez.

And there are thousands of those children right here in the Glass City.

“Six to 10,000 right here in the city of Toledo," he continues. "And we have a lot of these families that have got siblings that are born here in the United States. So you’re talking about the breakup of thousands and thousands of families.”

If that happens, Velasquez speculates there will be protest reminiscent of the civil rights movement.

He adds, “if there isn’t to rectify the removal of this order, I think there will be rebellion in the streets.”

NBC 24 did attempt to speak with those who would be directly affected by the repeal of DACA. However, they have not yet returned our calls.

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