FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – A federal court judge on Thursday has ruled that DACA, the program that gives temporary citizenship to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants across the US and here in our area, is illegal.

Richard Puerta was brought to the U.S. as a toddler.

“I was brought here at a young age, but sadly I was brought here with no documentation, not even a birth certificate,” he said.

His mother died when he was two, and he came to the Central Valley around the same time. The place he calls his home.

“The majority of my life which has been 21 years as of now I’ve been here. I’ve never been back to Mexico,” said Puerta.

He’s in his final year at Fresno State, and with the Dreamers program which allows undocumented immigrants to go to attend the university.

Although he is not a part of DACA, because he does not have a birth certificate from any country, he’s concerned for his classmates who are impacted by the ruling of the federal judge.

“I have heard stories from so many other immigrants,” Puerta said. “Even though we share the same problem of being undocumented, it may be completely different on how we got here and how we grew up,” said Puerta.

Dr. Jesus Martinez is the Executive Director of the Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative or CVIIC for short.

“It’s going to appeal and go to the Supreme Court, so this is going to take still several years to be decided,” said Martinez.

He says the ruling is a punch to the gut of the community.

“It creates a great deal of confusion, a great deal of mistrust for immigrants, for the U.S. political and legal system,” said Martinez.

Dr. Martinez says the answer is immigration reform, something that has not happened for nearly forty years.

“We have had no immigration reform since 1986,” said Martinez. “Let us create a situation in which millions of people who are already in the United States who are already long-term residents, who have children who have families and have purchased homes and made significant contributions to our society and economy.”

Existing DACA recipients are still getting federal funding. However, the judge’s ruling has put any new recipients on hold.