SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Several media outlets are reporting that President Trump will announce the end of the DACA program on Tuesday.
Leonardo Ruiz Garcia is living his dream. At just 7-years-old his parents brought him from Mexico to Santa Maria. He said his family was looking for the opportunity to create a better life.
"DACA is more than a paper to me, it’s become my identity,” said Garcia. It's an identity in jeopardy for the 19-year-old UC Santa Barbara student.
Nearly 800,000 dreamers are anxiously waiting for President Trump’s decision on Tuesday. Garcia said it's one that could change his life.
"DACA being taken away it’s like something that is a part of me taken away, it would be like Donald Trump just slamming the door in front of me,” he said.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program known as DACA, protects undocumented immigrants who come to the United States as kids.
President Trump said ending the program is a decision “very hard to make.”
"For me, it’s either get an education or go work in the fields,” said Garcia.
When he graduates in two years, Garcia will be the first person in his family to attend a four-year university.
"The struggles I have gone through have helped me and shaped me into the person I am today,” he said.
For Garcia, Santa Maria is home. He remembers very little about his life in Mexico and is grateful to his parents for coming here.
"They came without anything and were able to give me everything,” he said.
The President’s decision could end what the Obama administration put into place in 2012. However, Garcia said for now he’s not putting his dreams on hold and plans to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering.
"I think I am living it right now, my dream, going to one of the best public schools in the nation,” he said.
The DACA program also protects undocumented kids from deportation allowing them to work and study in the U.S.