San Diego

San Diego Dreamers Rally for Protection Under Immigration Reform

Dozens of San Diegans are disappointed with the recent proceedings in Washington after lawmakers failed to put together a deal granting beneficiaries of DACA and the Dream Act permanent protection.

Part of the agreement between Democrats and Republicans putting together a stopgap spending bill signed by President Donald Trump Monday was that immigration reform would soon be taken up by the Senate.

A group of protestors set up outside of the county Democratic Party headquarters Tuesday to share their voice and rally for a second chance.

“It’s a little bit scary, but at the same time you have that little bit of hope in you because all of us Dreamers know what it was like before we had DACA,” DACA recipient Julio Ortiz said. “You couldn’t drive a car without being scared of being pulled over.”

The hope of those rallying is that both parties work to pass a clean Dream Act in the next spending bill. The spending bill signed by President Trump which ended a 69-hour government shutdown expires February 8.

Another DACA-recipient protestor said all the temporary agreement did was push the issue of immigration reform to the side.

“We feel like we’ve been betrayed. We feel like we’ve been utilized as bargaining chips,” DACA recipient Ali Torabi said. “We’ve gotten lost in the fray of politics. Our lives have become playthings for the GOP and even the Democrats. They say they stand with us -- it’s one thing to say it but their actions don’t show it.”

President Donald Trump put an early March expiration date on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children. After March 5, beneficiaries of the program are eligible for deportation.

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