Washington whiplash over DACA leaves NC 'Dreamers' uneasy

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DACA debate in DC leaves so-called Dreamers like Miriam Amado uncertain about the future.

It is a very uncomfortable limbo for Miriam Amado and the 27,000 other dreamers in North Carolina.

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After what felt like a game of "Deal or no Deal" in Washington on Thursday, Amado is caught in the middle.

"It's frustrating to me because it's given me false hope," the 19-year old said, summing up her feelings after the whiplash day of DACA news in Washington. "And it's making me think well maybe there is a deal, maybe there is hope."

The new confusion about the future of DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, began Wednesday night at the White House. Following a meeting with President Donald Trump, Washington's top Democrats, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, announced they struck a deal. It included a framework for protection for the dreamers in exchange for beefed-up border security, but did not include money for the president's border wall.

"It's about everyone in our country having the opportunity to earn a path to citizenship and that's what the bill does," Pelosi said.

But in the face of intense backlash from conservatives inside the Capitol, that deal to permanently protect the Dreamers suddenly seemed not so certain.

"We're not looking at citizenship, we're not looking at amnesty. We're looking at allowing people to stay here," Trump told reporters as he traveled to view hurricane damage in Florida.

"But very importantly, what we want: We have to have a wall," Trump said. "If we don't have a wall, we're doing nothing."

House Speaker Paul Ryan downplayed talks about a deal.

"It was a discussion, not an agreement or a negotiation," he said.

And on the Senate side of Capitol Hill, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, described it as "a deal to make a deal."

Back in Raleigh, Amada said she doesn't know who to believe.

"I have little trust, honestly," she said.

Amado's parents brought her to Johnston County when she was 2 1/2 years old. They came illegally from Mexico, they said, in search of a better life.

They found it, and Amado is months away from a bachelor's degree in Hospital Administration at the University of Mt. Olive; DACA allowed her to get a social security number and a driver's license so she could legally work to put herself through school.

"I just feel like they can't cancel (DACA) because I just don't know what I would do," she said. "I don't really want to put my mind there yet, because I still have hope that something will come out of this."

Trump gave Congress six months to come up with a solution before protections for Dreamers like Amado would end.

The president has promised not to take action to deport the Dreamers until then. What happens after six months is still uncertain.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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