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Waiting on God and the Government: Will Trump Show 'Heart?'


More than one million young immigrants are waiting on Washington to decide their fate. They're known as Dreamers – young adults whose parents brought them to the U.S. without documentation before the age of 16.

In Virginia Beach, Virginia, two Dreamer sisters are hoping the President and Congress will take action that will permanently allow them to stay in the U.S.  

Both Daniela and Andrea Gonzales recently re-applied for work permits that they're allowed to receive under the federal government's "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (DACA) program.  

The two-year permits enable them to work legally and receive financial aid to attend college.  

Andrea has since received her renewed permit which allows her to keep her job in digital media but Daniela is still waiting, and her current permit expires in three weeks.

If she doesn't get renewed, she could lose her scholarship to the University of Virginia along with her living stipend which allows her to pursue graduate studies in civil engineering.

"It can be very, very stressful," she told CBN News. "I really don't have a Plan B."

"I don't know if my engineering degree from here would do anything that I could be an engineer in Venezuela. I don't know engineering terms in Spanish,"  Daniela said.

The Gonzales sisters came to the states during their pre-teen years as their family fled food shortages and violence in Venezuela.  

Their father, a Southern Baptist pastor, had a religious workers visa, but a few years later an immigration nightmare began.

"We found out that the lawyer who was working on our papers had just dropped the ball and didn't reapply for our current status," said Daniela.

That mistake meant the sisters no longer had legal status in the U.S. That meant no financial aid for college. Despite top grades, test scores, and acceptance letters, neither were able to enroll.

The paperwork mistake also meant no opportunities to work legally, forcing the sisters to take odd jobs like baby-sitting and lawn care.  

In 2012, the federal government started the DACA program and everything changed, allowing both Andrea and Daniela to attend college and find jobs that could help pay for tuition and books.  

Still, their future remains a question mark. They must reapply for work permits every two years, and they worry about the future of the DACA program.

Rev. Tony Suarez, executive vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), oversees 40,000 Latino churches and is well aware of the Dreamer predicament.

"Of everyone who is in the country who is in this limbo status of being undocumented," he said, "these are what I would really look at as victims of the situation. It was not their choice to come."

Suarez and other immigration observers believe the president and Congress will tackle immigration reform this year and provide something for the Dreamers.  

But even the president admitted last month in a press conference that he's struggling to know what to do.  

"It's a very, very tough subject. We are going to deal with DACA with heart," he said. But then he added, "I have to deal with a lot of politicians don't forget."

The Gonzales sisters are not forgetting, nor are their fellow Dreamers.

"The risk that they face of possibly being deported one day is unfathomable," said Suarez. "They would be going back to a country where they possibly don't have any family left. They don't know the language. They don't know the system."

Daniela and Andrea say their family has been a huge help through the years, providing emotional and financial support. But ultimately, they say they are waiting on the Lord.

"I don't think that I would have pulled through any of this if it wasn't for my faith," said Andrea."If it wasn't for believing in a God that has purpose in the tragedy and the beauty and the goodness in everything that happens."

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