EL PASO — When Josue Tayub gets ready for work, he knows that anything can happen during the 12 hours he’s on duty as an emergency room nurse at El Paso’s Del Sol Medical Center. Last August, the 35-year-old was working the day a gunman shot dozens of people at a local Walmart; he helped care for some of the victims later that day.
When he suits up these days, he knows he’s going to be exposed to patients infected with the novel coronavirus and could become sick himself.
But in recent months, something else has been making the immigrant from Mexico anxious: a looming decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that could result in his removal from his adopted country and take him away from the profession he loves.
“It’s in the back of my mind every hour,” he said. “The uncertainty, every day. It doesn’t go away.”
Tayub, who was born in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, was brought to the United States by his father 20 years ago and is allowed to work under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which lets undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children to apply for renewable work permits and receive two-year reprieves from deportation.
Since the program launched in 2012, more than 800,000 immigrants have received the benefit at least once, and there currently are about 652,900 recipients in the country, including about 108,000 in Texas, according to the Migration Policy Institute.