Daniel Caracheo: He was in chemistry class when his world collapsed

DACA status: Expires October 2018  

Backstory:  He was brought across the Mexican border at age 5, crouched in a tiny room of a trailer.  

Achievements: As a boy, he volunteered at the Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids. “It inspired me to take care of nature,” he said. “I would always go the Nature Center. It was like a safe spot for me. It felt away from everything else.” He earned admission to Grand Rapids City Middle and City High School, among the district’s best, served on the mayor’s Youth Council, and on his school’s debate and Model United Nations teams.  Caracheo earned a full-ride scholarship to Davenport University in Grand Rapids where he is enrolled in pre-med.

Ambitions: He aims to be a doctor. He also wants to remain politically active. He canvassed for a county commissioner and state representative last year. “While I am not able to vote, I see Grand Rapids and Michigan and the United States as my home. It’s my home and I want to take care of my home. By volunteering and canvassing, this was me voting without the ability to vote.”

Fears: Caracheo said he thought he was prepared for Trump’s announcement earlier this month that he would end DACA if Congress can’t find a solution. Still, it “was rough. I was in chemistry lab class and as soon as I got the news I couldn’t focus. I felt like time was going too slow. I had a hard time concentrating, realizing that everything we were working for could be coming to a close.”

Plan if DACA expires: “I have like a year to figure it out. If the situation is truly dire, I have made it a goal to look for schools in Canada and Mexico to transfer to and continue studying."

Reaction to possible deal: “Getting DACA in exchange for funding the wall; we don’t stand for that. To go through with a deal like this, it would be against our moral code. I’m still keeping an eye on what Trump is doing, exactly what are his motives.”


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