NC pro-DACA activists protest Trump's action, demand answers from Tillis
Posted September 5
Raleigh, N.C. — While thousands of people around the country rallied against President Donald Trump’s action to revoke the DACA program Tuesday, hundreds gathered outside of North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis’s office Tuesday.
Tillis is promising to take action, preparing new legislation that would provide a legal path to citizenship for people who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
“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 said in a statement.
Senator Tillis said today he'll file a bill next week that would offer a pathway to legal status for Dreamers, but important details are not yet clear.
Once they're 18, Dreamers would have a five year window to qualify by pursuing higher education, serving in the military or maintaining a job.
Many Dreamers said they aren't sure why the change is necessary.
Jorge Ramos was one of around 200 people who marched in support of DACA outside Sen Thom Tillis's office.
Ramos's parents brought him to the United States when he was 6 years old.
He got DACA status five years ago, which allowed him to live and work without constant fear of being deported. He doesn't understand why opponents want it repealed.
"It's just so sad, but also I just find it ridiculous because they're creating an issue out of something that was a complete non-issue," Ramos said.
Yazmin Garcia Rico is a graduate student studying social work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She came into the country illegally when she was just 13. She says DACA changed her life – allowing her to hold a job and pursue her education.
"Sometimes we don't think what it means to go to the library and get a library. What it means to be able to drive and not feel like you're going to be pulled over. To buy a car, to get a loan, to buy a house – different things that Dreamers like myself have been able to do in the past few years," Rico said.
Rico said Dreamers want a permanent solution. She's heard that Tillis is proposing a plan similar to DACA, which Tillis says is unconstitutional. But she says any proposal will have to be carefully analyzed and she's worried that immigration hardliners in Congress will require tradeoffs that will target her community.
"We don't want to be given something at the stake of something else," she said. "We don't need a wall. We don't need to compromise for anything else. This program has shown that it works, and MISSING WORDS
Senator Richard Burr released a statement calling DACA unlawful and praising the repeal.
State Democrats denounced the move and said they will work to protect Dreamers in their communities.