Politics

Young immigrants rally outside SCOTUS: 'DACA has allowed me to support my parents and siblings'

As the nine justices of the Supreme Court are this morning hearing oral arguments around the Trump administration’s unlawful and cruel termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, hundreds of immigrants and their allies are rallying outside the court to say loud and clear that “home is here.”

Among them is Cheska Mae Perez, who tweeted that DACA has helped her pursue her higher education goals, be able to support her family, and access everyday things that many take for granted, like being able to drive legally. “I’m at the Supreme Court today to say home is here not only for me and my family, but for all in my community,” she said.

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Ana Ramirez, who traveled from North Carolina to rally outside the court, said she was just 15 years old when DACA made her the first person in her family to be able to work and drive legally. Today she’s a student at Duke University and is fighting so that other young people also get their chance to thrive and succeed. “It opened so many doors for me,” she said.

“DACA recipients are just like other American walking around,” said Bambadjan Bamba, the Black Panther actor who publicly revealed his DACA status last year. His advocacy was sparked by Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the program in 2017.

“Not only am I married, but I have a daughter now,” he said at the time. “I didn’t feel like I could still sit back and keep hitting the snooze button.”

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Ciriac Alvarez, an immigrant rights leader from Utah, stressed the importance of also fighting for protections for all undocumented families. “I’m fighting for my parents and family who don’t have DACA,” she tweeted. “We need a permanent solution that recognizes us all.”

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DACA recipients are also inside the courtroom, not just as observers, but as lead plaintiffs in the litigation against the Trump administration. 

Martín Batalla said that DACA is more than just a piece of paper. “The security of having DACA helped me to be able to proudly come out as gay and unafraid,” he wrote. “I no longer live in fear. I will fight until the very end to not be ripped away from my mother, my community, and the place I have called home for over 20 years.”

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“The law and the overwhelming majority of the country are on our side,” he continued. “Now it’s time for the US Supreme Court to uphold the rule of law, affirm the lower court injunctions, and leave DACA in place.

“Immigrant youth will win, Mr. President. And, like it or not, we and our families are here to stay.”




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