California Dreamers March in Auburn Ahead of Monday’s Deadline

AUBURN -- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients told FOX40 this is a scary time for them because they just don't know what's going to happen next.

But despite the risks of speaking out publicly, they say now it's more important than ever to have their voices heard.

People took to the streets of Auburn, braving the rain and hail. They chanted, "No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here. Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here."

Dozens marched to the county courthouse calling on lawmakers in Washington to save DACA.

"There's immigrants here too and even in Tahoe and in Nevada County," said Tomas Evangelista. "Those are areas where there's not too many but we need to be vocal."

As the march's organizer, Evangelista is a Dreamer himself, coming to the United States when he was just 2 years old with his mother, who died only four years later when he was 6.

"Of course speaking out definitely is a risk, but I believe in America, I believe in the American people," Evangelista said. "I believe in democracy and I believe if I use my voice then we'll be able to get something through."

He said he knows he has an uphill battle, especially in Placer County.

"It's been red for quite a time," he said.

The region went for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

"This is our home, we grew up here. Graduated from Placer High School. Ran track and cross country here," Evangelista said.

The county's political leanings aside, Evangelista said he's always found support in his community.

"My third grade teacher showed up today," he said. "You know there's a lot of good people that when we struggled, they didn't see an immigration status. They just saw a young kid trying to learn, trying to do good in this country."

Working with politicians like assembly candidate Jackie Smith, Evangelista's group, California Dreamers, believes there will be a change countywide in 2018.

"You know you got to vote democratic down the ticket," Smith said to the marchers.

Evangelista just hopes that change is not too late for him and other Dreamers like him.

"Being without protection right now is definitely a scary time," Evangelista said.

The Monday deadline may not be the end to DACA the Trump administration had hoped. Federal judges have ordered the government to continue accepting DACA renewal applications while the legal battle continues.

On Friday, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg's office released a video response to recent, widespread Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in Northern California.

“We will not cower, we will not retreat. We will do everything in our power to stand up for and protect Dreamers, hardworking families, immigrants – people who are just doing their best to work, to learn, and to have a part of the Sacramento and the California dream,” said Mayor Steinberg. “We of course are not about protecting people with serious criminal backgrounds, this is not what this is about. This is about Dreamers and hardworking families.”