Recipients, advocates commemorate DACA’s 5-year anniversary with renewed fight for immigrant rights
LOS ANGELES — Five years ago, the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program began.
So-called “dreamers” say the executive order by former president Barack Obama has been life changing.
“5 years ago today there were thousands of hands that shot up in the air that said, I want my DACA, I want a chance to exist in this country, and I want to make my dreams come true,” said Melody Klingenfuss, a DACA recipient from California Dream Network.
DACA recipients rallied with immigrant rights activists, labor groups, and elected officials to use this milestone as a chance to call on the Trump administration to keep the program intact as it works on a comprehensive immigration program.
So far, while President Trump pushes for the RAISE Act, which limits legal immigration, he has kept the program in place — however, ten states have threatened to sue the administration if it does not cancel DACA.
Democratic congressmembers say they will fight for DACA and a fair and comprehensive immigration reform.
“We are also taking action in Congress to protect DACA legislatively,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D-California). “I’m proud to be one of the original house cosponsors of the bi-partisan and bi-cameral Bridge Act, which would give temporary protection to Dreamers. This is something that the new White House chief of staff John Kelly said he supports. The significance of this bill it actually has Republican sponsors and both Senate and House members that support it. The ultimate goal is to make sure that Dreamers are on the path to legalization.”
As activists and lawmakers continued to remember the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, they also called on the president to follow up with his denouncement of white supremacy groups by showing compassion to immigrants.
“President Trump came out and spoke against neonazis and white supremacists just yesterday, but if he’s sincere with that rhetoric he must follow up his rhetoric with policy actions,” said Rep. Jimmy Gomez
(D) California. “Let’s not forget his campaign started with beating up on undocumented immigrants. Threatening to build a border wall. And the best way to reverse that hateful rhetoric in our country is to open up his heart to DACA recipients.”
As of June 2016, about 4,500 Filipino youth have received an initial DACA approval, with another 3500 renewals since.
Aside from the lawsuit threats and introduced legislation another issues expected to take over Washington DC next month. That budget is expected to bring up issues such as immigrant programs and the border wall.