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The risk of deportation still hangs over thousands of people in the DACA program

A pending case before a federal judge in Texas could lead to the end of the DACA program.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austinite Diego Corzo is a team leader at a real estate firm in the northwest part of the city. He is a college-educated engineer who developed a love for selling real estate, and he has been successful at it.

But despite all he’s achieved, Corzo runs the risk of being deported to his native country of Peru, despite the fact he was brought to the U.S. as a child. The U.S. is the only country he has truly known.

Corzo is one of several hundred-thousand undocumented people living in the U.S. who have qualified for the DACA program. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and the program celebrated its ninth anniversary this week. Still, there’s no path to citizenship for so-called Dreamers. 

If DACA is declared illegal by the courts, Corzo and the others may be forced to leave the U.S.

"I feel like we cannot sometimes achieve our true potential because we don’t know if we’re going to be here in two years," said Corzo. "What’s going to happen to us? So, it makes us unable to make some decisions that can benefit a lot more people just because of that lack of knowing what is going to happen."

RELATED: As DACA celebrates its 9th anniversary, still an uncertain future for thousands of 'Dreamers'

Corzo’s story is typical of many DACA recipients, and he’s often in demand to speak publicly about DACA. He was recently invited to give a talk at Mountain View College in Dallas. 

“The American Dream for me is to see past your current circumstances in the hopes of a better future,” he told the audience. “We must pursue your vision despite the obstacles we might face. At the end of the day, we are not criminals. We are human.”

Corzo said he’s hopeful Congress will pass a law opening a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. Proposed legislation has support from both political parties but has not yet come before lawmakers.

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