Detroit DACA Recipient with Dreams of Practicing Law: ‘I’ll Lose All of That’

Juan Gonzalez says he wants to practice immigration law to help people like himself.

Jake Neher/WDET

Dozens of Detroiters and local immigration activists are protesting the Trump Administration’s decision to end the federal program that protects undocumented immigrants who came here as minors. The decision to terminate The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – or DACA – came down on Tuesday.

Juan Gonzalez is a DACA recipient who grew up in Southwest Detroit and now lives in Lincoln Park. He says the program changed his life when it was implemented under the Obama Administration.

“Now I go to school full time,” Gonzalez tells WDET’s Jake Neher. “I go over to Wayne State University. I work at Quicken Loans. And if DACA gets rescinded, I lose all of that.”

Groups held several rallies across Metro Detroit on Tuesday. They’re calling on members of Michigan’s congressional delegation to support more protections for DACA recipients.

“We are tired of you using our young people as a political football,” Detroit pastor and Cass Technical High School Spanish teacher Kevin Casillas said in front of dozens of protesters in Southwest Detroit. “They are not a political football.” 

Click on the audio player above to hear Neher’s full conversation with Gonzalez. 

Jake Neher/WDET



  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.