Social Issues

Dreamers remind Washington they are ‘essential’ too

Washington DC, Apr 27 (efe-epa).- A group of so-called “Dreamers” participated on Monday in a caravan of vehicles that toured the surroundings of the Supreme Court and the United States Congress in Washington DC, asking for the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

DACA prevents the deportation of thousands of young undocumented immigrants, and the survival of the program is in the hands of the court.

A fabric poster reading “Home is Here” was displayed by two young people in front of the headquarters of the Supreme Court, the work of which is done virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The mobilization, in which residents of Washington and nearby areas participated, also highlighted the role of numerous Dreamers, as the young recipients of the DACA program are known, who in the midst of the fight against COVID-19 have become “essential workers.”

The magistrate judges are expected to rule on DACA, the immigration benefit announced in June 2012 by then-President Barack Obama (2009-2017) and which the Donald Trump administration seeks to end.

On Nov. 12 of last year, the magistrate judges heard the parties’ arguments.

“The biggest fear right now of the Dreamers is going to work and that perhaps one of these days the Supreme Court decides to make a decision against DACA and then we will no longer be able to help. We cannot renew the permits to continue working,” said Jorge Benitez, community leader of the pro-immigrant organization CASA, who indicated that more than 30,000 recipients of this program are fighting against the coronavirus.

Benitez, born in El Salvador and who has been part of DACA since he was 15 years old, assured that this program “was an immense help” and made him the first member of his family – still undocumented – to “receive help from the government.”

This young man, who has lived in the US since he was five years old and became a primary school teacher, told the Dreamers not to be afraid and to get up and fight.

Jonathan Rodas, 25, who has lived in the US since he was 11, also participated in the caravan.

“We are waiting for the Supreme Court to listen and rethink about giving a decision right now with everything that is happening. Because there are several DACA recipients who are working on the front line with what is happening with the pandemic,” Rodas told EFE.

He is an operations assistant at a hospital in Maryland, a state neighboring the US capital.

For this young Salvadoran, his whole life is in this country and DACA gave him “a voice” after facing the fear of being “different from others,” as he realized that he was undocumented.

“Although I know that my nationality is Salvadoran, my life, my friends, my family, everything I have done is here,” he said.

On Mar. 5, Trump met with Republican senators to evaluate the possibility of promoting a package that protects thousands of young undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children from deportation.

Trump will consider that possibility only if the US Supreme Court strikes down the DACA in June, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told local media after the meeting. EFE-EPA

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