HOUSTON - Thursday was the deadline for “Dreamers” to renew their work permits under DACA, the program for young undocumented immigrants ends next year unless Congress takes action.
Across the country, immigrants and their allies are pressuring lawmakers for permanent freedom.
“We won DACA because undocumented youth organized and fought for it,” said Oscar Hernandez with United We Dream. “And we’re going to continue to fight for liberty for undocumented immigrants and for a clean DREAM act.”
Dozens of DACA recipients and others marched to U.S. Senator John Cornyn’s Houston office to push for legislation that would provide a clear path to citizenship amid DACA’s demise.
“Whenever the announcement was made that DACA was being taken away, it was me going back to the country I don’t know,” said Sbeidy Medrano.
Medrano came to the U.S. from Mexico as a two-year-old. The green cap and gown she wore to the protest represents opportunity.
“It represents my life, my future, my family,” said Medrano.
Sen. Cornyn offered no new reaction to this latest demonstration. Instead, his office sent a copy of a statement issued when President Trump announced that DACA would end.
“This policy, while well-intentioned, was implemented without the approval of Congress by a President who exceeded his authority under the Constitution,” said the statement. “The President now has the chance to work with Congress towards finding a solution.”
Many hope any eventual solution will not criminalize more than 800,000 young people currently safe from deportation thanks to DACA.
“And we need people who care about us and our friends to step up alongside us,” said Hernandez.
Just this week, some Democrats in Congress pledged to pass a so-called “clean DREAM act.”