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Dreamers Speak Up in Sacramento as Congress’ DACA Deadline Passes

SACRAMENTO -- Monday their voices were fewer than the ones raised in September when President Donald Trump first announced deportation protections would disappear for those brought to the United States illegally as children.

But those still fighting the battle Monday, on what was supposed to be Congress' deadline to act, say the intensity of their message remains.

"I won't be going back into the shadows," said Sandra Morales, an intern for the Dream Network.

Those covered by Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals were hoping that the country would take up the president's challenge and find a legislative solution to this part of America's immigration problem.

According to them, the agencies of the government are instead sewing fear into their communities, working to destroy the career and educational pursuits immigration critics say they want non-natives to have.

That, paired with another six months of inaction, is what they believe is depressing numbers at protests like the one Monday.

"People I know here they were too scared to come here just because it's outside an ICE building," said one DACA recipient and Sacramento State University student, who only wanted to be identified by her first name, Yahaira.

"Back in my hometown, there were ICE raids in the movie theater, at the grocery store. Why are people scared to go to the movie theaters? They shouldn't be scared to go to the movie theaters. They shouldn't be scared to go to ULTA beauty to buy some makeup," she said.

"My parents are undocumented and I do not want them to be at risk in order for me get opportunities that they should have had," said Eva Jimenez, a DACA recipient and a junior at University of California, Davis.

Hector Pimemtel is a citizen, but his mother was just granted political asylum in the U.S. in 2016, 12 years after she was deported for being undocumented.

"Keep fighting you know. We don't gain anything from being mad or just being disappointed," emphasized the UC Davis freshman.

"Trump said that if a solution was not met by March 5th that he would take it upon himself to find a solution. And so I call to him now that if Congress is not able to do that, then he should step up and commit to that which he said," Jimenez said, to a loud round of applause.

President Trump did a lot of tweeting Monday, mostly about trade, but he did squeeze in one message about DACA. He blamed Democrats for six months of no action. Congress is controlled by Republicans.