SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients rallied at the State Capitol Tuesday to shed their fear of exposing their immigration status with the hope that they’ll be heard.
Dozens of “Dreamers” and their supporters in California sent the message “Home is here!” to the United States Supreme Court.
The state has more DACA recipients than any other state in the country.
“When you’re undocumented, it means that you’re stuck in one place, you’re not allowed to go move forward or to move backwards. And today, with everyone standing behind me, alongside me, I feel like I can finally take a step forward,” said DACA recipient Alejandro Cervantes.
Tuesday’s rally came as the nation’s highest court heard arguments for and against the program that protects 700,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. when they were children either illegally or with families who overstayed visas.
“I’ve been trying to stay very, very hopeful. If it gets turned down, I lose my job,” said Peru-born DACA recipient Maria Jose Fernandez Flores. “What happens with my education? I will probably have to lose the house that my mom and I are in because I’m the bigger income in this family. And the fact that I could lose it all just over one simple decision, it definitely has me very uncertain.”
Some “Dreamers” said they feel vulnerable by sharing their undocumented status but they hope their stories and their situation will make an impression, even on those who can’t fully relate, like DACA supporter Jeff Peck.
“Their journeys are incredible,” said Peck. “The Trump administration is trying to take that gift away, for no reason other than the fact the gift was given to us by President Obama. I’m outraged.”
Ashley Zavala filed this report.