RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Hundreds of people from all walks of life marched through the streets of downtown Raleigh on Sunday.
The group was responding to the Trump administration’s decision to phase out Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA.
The program protects young immigrants brought to the U.S. by their undocumented parents and allows them to go to school and get renewable work permits every two years.
“I have four kids and this is their home and I can’t just get up and leave with them in the middle of the school year,” said DACA recipient, Rosa Andradevega.
People like Axel Herrera who are part of the DACA program are called dreamers. He came here from Honduras when he was just 7.
Herrera is now a student at Duke University, something he says would’ve been impossible without DACA.
“I’m an RA on campus,” Herrera said. “I have employment as well, that screws up everything in terms of the work I’m doing. If I don’t have DACA anymore, I can’t drive a car.”
Jasmine Wang is a sophomore at North Carolina State University and while she was born here in North Carolina, she’s the child of immigrants.
She didn’t think DACA was getting enough attention in the Triangle, so she decided to do something about it.
“It started snowballing into what it is now with several hundred people, speakers, and a bunch of nonprofits involved and it’s kind of crazy,” Wang said Sunday.
Democratic Congressman David Price made a surprise visit. He says he stands with dreamers and is calling on Congress to pass the DREAM Act, a bill that would grant legal status to some undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and attended school here.
“Just to show support for these young people, the dreamers, who need to be part of our society, part of our country and have so much to offer and the fact that Donald Trump has turned his back on them after they have come out and been a part of this program is just unthinkable,” Price said.
Senator Thom Tillis responded to the Trump administration’s decision to repeal the DACA Act saying, “Immigration policy must be set through legislation, not executive orders. That was the fundamental flaw underpinning DACA and the reason it’s highly unlikely to survive a legal challenge.”
Tillis is cosponsoring the SUCCEED Act. Under that proposed bill youths must be employed, pursuing higher education, or serving in the U.S. military to receive conditional status.