It’s not just Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who are living in limbo as the Trump administration is hellbent on challenging the recent court decisions that have partially resurrected the program. DACA recipients are also valued employees and business owners, which means that scores of people who depend on them for their livelihoods are also living in uncertainty. Mostafa Ghonim, a DACA recipient and Queens business owner has over 20 employees, but if he were to lose his work permit, he would no longer be able to run his catering business:
“I explained to them what the situation was, and to my surprise, a lot of them kind of walked away with a shock in their spirit because they were thinking that ‘Wow, I had no idea because I see you as one of us [an American],’” he said. “If the program doesn't affect you or anyone in your family, you're not exactly concerned what this is about. But once you see that it's someone close to you, you're looking at it in a completely different light.”
For Ghonim—who came to the U.S. from Egypt when he was just seven—there’s nothing he can do to ease the chaos for himself and his employees. United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) recommends DACA recipients apply to renew their DACA status 120 days before the expiration date. But Ghonim’s doesn’t expire until next year, meaning all he can do is continue waiting to see if the Republican Congress does something to pass permanent protections. So far, congressional Republicans refuse to.