Nevada advocates for immigrants’ rights held a rally at Tuesday at Reno’s City Hall in support of the so-called “Dreamers” – young people brought to the United States as children.
On Tuesday, President Trump terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has given more than 800,000 people the right to work and go to school in the United States. More than 13,000 of them in Nevada now will be subject to deportation over the next two years as their current work permits expire.
Cristina Jimenez is a DACA participant who co-founded United We Dream, a group dedicated to promoting DACA. Now executive director of the group, Jimenez vowed to stand and fight for the program.
“We will not be pushed back into the shadows by these attacks,” she said. “We have already come out as undocumented and unafraid, and we will continue to do that work. This is our home and we are here to stay.”
“The 800,000 immigrant youth who have relied on the federal government, who voluntarily came forward to live freely without the fear of deportation – to be able to study and to live in our communities and to support their families – are now facing an unclear future.”
Jimenez is pushing for action on the DREAM Act, bipartisan legislation that would give Dreamers a path to citizenship. Sens. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., have indicated support for the Dreamers, as has Gov. Brian Sandoval. However, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the program, established by President Obama, was an overreach of executive power.
Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said ending DACA amounts to a betrayal of so many young people who have done nothing wrong.
“The 800,000 immigrant youth who have relied on the federal government, who voluntarily came forward to live freely without the fear of deportation – to be able to study and to live in our communities and to support their families – are now facing an unclear future,” she said.
Immigrants’ advocates also held an emergency information session on DACA on Tuesday night in Las Vegas. Many groups are offering legal help to those who are eligible to apply for a two-year extension on their permits before an Oct. 5 deadline.
By Suzanne Potter
Public News Service – NV