MODESTO (CBS13) — Immigrant youth, their allies, and advocates across the nation participated in rallies today in an effort to send a strong message to lawmakers in Washington.
Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals are hoping Congress can pass legislation that would fix the Obama-era program nearly four months after President Donald Trump moved to rescind it.
Melissa Santos is the daughter of undocumented immigrants. Every day she worries about her family’s future.
“It’s terrifying to think that they might not be here tomorrow or the next week. And it’s the same for DACA recipients who are going to school here, who have invested so much money here, and they just don’t know if they are going to be here,” said Santos.
As part of Mi Familia Vota, a nonprofit advocacy group, Santos is taking part in a national movement to get Congress to pass a bill that ensures a secure future for dreamers who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
“We are asking for a clean Dream Act. We don’t want the government to make a profit off of undocumented people, off of immigrants. We don’t want immigrants to have to enlist into the military to gain their legal status,” she said.
Trump rescinded DACA in September. Since then, a bipartisan group of senators has been negotiating legislation that would fix the Obama-era DACA program.
“They have grown up here. They need to have the security of knowing they are going to be allowed to stay. They trusted us to give us all of their contact information and now it is time for us to make good on their trust in us and give them a clean pathway to citizenship,” said Janet Smith, who lives in Turlock.
Although some Republican senators predict a bill on the Senate floor in January, advocates aren’t too optimistic. They are pushing for a proposal before the end of the year.
“We need these people in our country. They are economically supporting our country. They are people who are a value to our country,” said Smith.
As part of today’s rallies, both Democrats and Republicans along with celebrities sent letters to House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for action.