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Bridge Michigan
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Revisiting Wilfredo Diaz

WYOMING - A few months ago, Wilfredo Diaz heard a siren, looked in the rearview mirror and saw the strobes of a police car on his tail.

Could this be the moment he and his family had dreaded? Could this be when the authorities arrest him and send him and his family back to Guatemala?

Not this time. The officer said he could ticket Diaz for having tinted windows, but let him off with a warning.

For Diaz, it was a relief, but also a reminder of just how precarious his future is in America today. Now 23, he entered the country illegally at age 9 with his grandmother to join his mother and father who were already in the U.S.  He is among nearly 800,000 young people granted so-called “Dreamer” status under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) executive order, allowing him to come out of the shadows, begin working and paying taxes.

Read how Diaz felt in January.

He earns $15 an hour at a restaurant supply company and recently began selling Amway. Last fall, he bought a house, and he works on his three used cars in the driveway.

He said he knows some people, including the new president, believe people like him are taking jobs from citizens. But no one wants his job, he said. He’s been offered a promotion, but it’s been delayed because replacement workers for his current job work for a day or two and stop showing up, Diaz said.

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In the six months since Donald Trump was sworn in as president, Diaz’s opinion of the president has not changed. “I don’t like him as a president. I feel like Trump brought out more of that hate and racism that people were kind of hiding.

“A lot of times I tell myself, ‘I don’t care what happens if I get deported,’” he said. “I don’t want to live my life in fear. But then I come back to reality. I feel like I’m part of both places. (Guatemala) is my country where I was born, but this is my home.”

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