MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The White House is set to announce the end of a program that protects nearly 800,000 young immigrants from deportation. They were brought to this country as children.
That news leads to angry protests in the Mid-South.
The program is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and it’s one President Donald Trump promised to end. Now some lawmakers are speaking out, saying children should not be punished for what their parents did. The governor of New York and that state’s attorney general say they’ll “sue” the president if he scraps the program, which allows immigrant children to go to school and get jobs.
“This is what would happen if DACA was taken away from us,” said DACA student Alylin Lozano.
Degrees, dreams and aspirations buried in a coffin. A strong gesture from Dreamers United, students and supporters of DACA.
Aylin Lozano, a DACA student at Christian Brothers University, came to Memphis from Mexico when she was 5 years old.
“This is the only place where I’ve gotten an education, English is my fluent language,” said Lozano. “I’m studying early childhood education, and hopefully I’ll have a minor in business administration.”
“I would like to someday have my own day care,” she added.
Many other students at Monday night’s vigil have goals to be a future teacher, computer science engineer and future lawyer.
Gina John, the advocacy coordinator with Latino Memphis, said Tennessee has 13,000 DACA recipients, which would tear families apart if the program ended.
“They don’t know any other country so sending them to a country a they don’t know doesn’t make sense so if they are deported you’re breaking up families,” said John. “People aren’t going to have their daughters or their sons anymore.”
Monday night, protestors say they have one mission.
“What we are advocating for today is the dream act of 2017, and that is something that’s going to be pushed in congress,” said John. “It’s a bipartisan bill that would protect these students permanently and give them a path to citizenship.
Trump may offer a six-month delay to give Congress time to come up with fix for the program.