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Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

'Here to Stay': DREAMers take over Senate building, demand immigration reform

'Here to Stay': DREAMers take over Senate building, demand immigration reform

The national event that was set up by United We Dream, a student-lead immigration advocacy group, and was said to have over 1,000 people protest throughout the day. "No bill is going to be flawless, but inaction is just unacceptable".

So far, 25 House Democrats are threatening to withhold votes from various budget bills if Congress fails to pass clean DREAM Act legislation that is not attached to border security or Trump's wall. DACA provides work permits for people brought here illegally as children and protects them from deportation.

President Donald Trump's administration announced in September that it would wind down the Obama-era program that allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S.as children to remain in the country, giving Congress six-month window to proffer a legislative fix.

Cortez-Perez said she is concerned about being deported to her mother's country of origin, Mexico, ever since Trump rescinded the program. "As immigrant youth, we know the power we hold and we will no longer settle for anything less than permanent protection, respect and dignity for ourselves, our parents and our communities".

"We need to just get Ryan to put something on the floor so we can vote on it", Ellison said, a reference to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. She said she is afraid of what could happen if Congress does not act.

"It finally meant that I could do the little things", said Medina-Balcazar, who added that she now sometimes catches herself taking those things for granted, like being able to drive to the corner store and show her ID.

"Stop chanting if you do not intend to be arrested", the officer said.

"I have a commitment to my family, to my community to be fighting for protection for them", Soto said in Spanish, as Ruiz translated.

"There are less than 900 individuals now serving in the military, or have signed contracts to serve, who are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) authorization".

"The ball is in the court of Congress, and Congress must be reflective of the public sentiment", Pelosi said. Protesters urged Congress to pass permanent DACA protections for "DREAMers" brought to the USA illegally as children.

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"Immigrant young people and our allies took a huge action today, they've told Congress we're not going to wait anymore", said Bruna Bouhid, a Washington-area DACA recipient and an activist working with the rally's organizer, United We Dream. They also would need to prove that they had been accepted to an institute of higher education, have graduated high school, or are now enrolled in a secondary school or GED program. After maintaining that for five years, they could then apply to be a USA citizen.

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