HAYWARD, Calif. (KTVU) - Undocumented youth and young adults are at risk of falling out of the DACA program if they don’t send in renewal applications by October 5, 2017.
The Obama-era program, The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, gave young people who were brought into the United States as children protection from deportation and a work permit.
This month, President Donald Trump ended the DACA program, so no new applicants will be accepted. Current DACA recipients, known as Dreamers, must renew their 2-year program enrollment in the next three months.
"They need to know that by October 5th they need to renew. If they don't renew, they fall off and getting back in does not appear to be an option,” said Davis Street Family Resource Center CEO Rose Johnson.
Davis Street in San Leandro held an information meeting, but getting DACA recipients and their families to attend has been difficult.
Angelica Gasca is a U-S citizen, but attended Saturday’s meeting on behalf of her undocumented friends in the DACA program, who fear ICE agents could be watching them.
"I feel like they feel they are walking into a trap,” said Gasca."I want to be the middle man relaying information to them, because I know there's a lot of fear going on for them to go places and find information due to the fact they feel like people are watching them."
Davis Street staff said it’s not just government agencies they’re afraid of knowing their status.
"Our families have said to us, and to me personally, we're afraid to speak up, because our landlord is going to know we're undocumented and if they know, maybe our rent is going to go up."
Community Colleges such as Chabot College in Hayward support DACA students and is also trying to get the word out to renew applications. It’s hosting a DACA workshop on Tuesday at noon in the El Centro event center.
"Students don’t need a social security card to apply to Chabot College,” said president Susan Sperling.
“We now have students who, are undocumented and have come from Chabot College without a social security number, and who have now transferred to universities or are working in a variety of different fields."
Undocumented students cannot receive federal student loans, because they lack a social security number.
The path to US citizenship is much more difficult than many people realize, said Johnson.
"Our families are not the population that is eligible, and [thinking] that it's as simple as 'I'm going to go online and submit my application for citizenship and submit a fee.' It doesn't work that way,” said Johnson.