How 'dreamers' are preparing in case Trump ends Obama immigration actions

PHOENIX — Judith Jimenez was already house hunting when Donald Trump won the presidential election in November. She decided to go ahead and buy anyway.

Now she risks losing the house, and everything else she has worked for, if President Trump reverses Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.

"It would definitely put a stop to our dreams, for now," said Jimenez, 35, a Phoenix resident whose parents brought her from Mexico City to the U.S. when she was 11. "But I guess we would do what all immigrants have done throughout history, which is try to survive."

Wary U.S.-Mexico border residents watch Trump take office
Surviving won't be easy.

Ending Obama's immigration actions would revoke work permits and deportation deferments for Jimenez and more than 752,000 other young people approved for Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. That means Jimenez would no longer be able to work legally in the U.S.

If that happens, Jimenez, a dental assistant, said it will be a struggle to afford the $830 monthly mortgage payment on the $144,000 house she bought at the end of November for her and her 12-year-old son.

After being on a waiting list for nearly two years, Jimenez said she was recently accepted to enroll in the dental hygienist program at Phoenix College. But if she loses her work permit, she said she likely also won't be able to afford the tuition, not only because she won't be able to earn a living legally, but also because she would no longer qualify for in-state tuition under Arizona law.