Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

'Here to Stay': DREAMers take over Senate building, demand immigration reform

'Here to Stay': DREAMers take over Senate building, demand immigration reform

Fifteen were arrested, including one protester from Arizona who later said on social media that she was willing to risk arrest in order to "speak out for justice for all undocumented people".

Almost two dozen House Republicans on Thursday pressed Speaker Paul Ryan to act quickly on legislation that would protect the DACA participants.

"We reject the all-or-none approach", said Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida.

There are about a dozen undocumented Wake Forest students who participate in the DACA program, said Jose Villalba, WFU's interim chief diversity officer.

Dreamers face deportation after President Donald Trump in early September rescinded former President Barack Obama's 2012 administrative program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which gave an estimated 800,000 young people renewable two-year protection against deportation and work permit eligibility.

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President Donald Trump announced in September he would end the DACA, which was spearheaded by former President Barack Obama's executive order and protected thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought into the USA illegally as children.

She said she was protesting because it's an issue that continues to affect her, the ones she loves, her family members who are undocumented today, and students she works with who are DACA or temporary protected status recipients. Immigrants who were set to lose DACA in 2017 are more likely to have applied by the deadline, because they would have done so in any case, than immigrants who were set to lose DACA in 2018. President Donald Trump signed this revocation on September 5, which would revoke some of the 800,000 DACA recipients as early as March 6, 2018. It makes it clear that at least some DACA applicants who thought they were renewing in time and following the rules are being left out in the cold.

Despite proposals in the House and Senate that could keep DACA in place, however, Congress is no closer to a vote. "We urge Congressman Ryan to allow a vote on the clean Dream Act, so that more immigrant families' homes, like his home, can be sanctuaries".

Paige Cook, a CAS freshman and treasurer of Native American Indigenous Student Club at NYU, said that she supports student DREAMers because she thinks her struggles resonate with their struggles.

"I wish they understood why people came here to begin with", she said.

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They ditched school and marched to Capitol Hill en masse, then filled four floors of balconies in the vast atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building.

They chanted slogans such as "No Ban, No Wall, No Race", and "What do we want?"

Belen Sisa, an Arizona State University student and DACA recipient who was among those arrested, posted bail and had been freed by mid-afternoon.

On Thursday, hundreds of students across the country walked out of class to demand that Congress take swift action to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation. She said she is afraid of what could happen if Congress does not act.

"I consider this country my country", Martinez said. "This is why I am here advocating".

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