Self-proclaimed 'southern boy' watching closely as President Tru - CBS46 News

Self-proclaimed 'southern boy' watching closely as President Trump decides DACA's fate

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Jaime Rangel is planning to be among the demonstrators rallying Monday in downtown Atlanta as people across the country await President Donald Trump's decision on whether to keep or dismantle the controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.

President Barrack Obama signed an executive order in 2012 creating DACA. The program granted options for higher education and work permits to young people brought to the U.S. as children by parents who entered or remained in the country illegally. Rangel is among an estimated 800,000 people protected from deportation under the program.

Rangel, 26, came to the United States as an infant with his parents, who took a flight from Mexico on visas. Rangel said his parents' visas expired and that they tried to get them renewed with no success. Rangel said his younger brother, who was born in the U.S., now has petitioned for their parents to stay.

During Rangel's childhood, his family moved around the country, settling in northwest Georgia when he was 12. He considers himself a "southern boy," and says people are often perplexed by his southern accent.

"I grew up my whole life in Georgia. I love the state of Georgia. It's where I learned my values," Rangel said.

Rangel said he's heard the criticism of people like him who want to be legal citizens.

"It's very easy to say, 'Get back in line,' but there is no line," Rangel said. "If people actually sat down to try to understand the immigration system, they would see it’s very complicated. That's why it's a tough issue to talk about."

He argues with critics who believe the DACA program allows amnesty and encourages more illegal immigration. 

"They do a rigorous background check," he said. "You pay a fee, and you only get a work permit for two years. It’s not amnesty. It’s not a free-for-all. That’s just garbage. That’s just not true."

Rangel said he wants President Trump to succeed, and he wants the country to succeed. The best way for that to happen, he believes, is for DACA recipients to be allowed to remain in the country and continue to be productive citizens.

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