SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Just hours after attorney general Xavier Becerra announced a lawsuit against the Trump administration, Governor Jerry Brown met with Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Luis Videgaray and other officials at the consulate in Sacramento.
But outside, Mauro Arias, a so-called “dreamer”, was holding a sign and an impassioned message for Mexico’s top diplomat.
“We want you to go back to Mexico and create those opportunities that we don’t have over there,” he said.
Thirty-one-year-old Arias says he’s not scared of being deported to Mexico, where his parents escaped with him when he was a just a kid. But as a college student, shielded until recently under DACA, Arias hopes to have his face to face with Videgaray.
Mr. Videgaray says he’s determined to work with the tens of thousands of DACA recipients who may be deported, providing legal counsel, services, jobs and the ability to transfer school credits. But he went on to say the deportation of dreamers would a tremendous loss to the U.S. and a gift to Mexico.
“Having 600,000 college-educated, law-abiding talented young people return will be blessing for Mexico,” he said.
The announcement comes a week after President Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that lets immigrants work and attend school in the U.S. even if they were brought here illegally as children.
But Republican lawmakers aren’t persuaded.
“I’m very concerned about the state having too much of a role…the state legislature and governor only have so much to determine on this issue,” said State Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach).
Arias partially agrees.
“I don’t know if, in reality, they have the power to change,” said Arias.
But he hopes his story will awaken Washington.
“I came here not because I choose to come here, I was brought [by] my parents when I was 14 years old,” he said.
The Sacramento country Republican party is weighing in tonight. Like Arias, officials are urging the governor and Mexican officials to talk about the economic conditions in Mexico that caused people to seek a new life in the U.S. to begin with.