Congress passed a new tax bill before the Christmas holiday, but one present Dreamers wished for didn’t come through, which is the return of an immigration policy that could prevent their deportation. Local Dreamer, Victor Garcia, says his future may not be here in the United States, but in a country he doesn’t even know. He hopes Congress hears the pleas from Dreamers who just want a chance to live and work in the only country many of them know.
“As of right now, I feel like congress has to act right away,” said Garcia.
Garcia is one 800,000 Dreamers across the country, who’s legal status remains in limbo.
“Each day that there’s not a fix for DACA, it just means that there’s more DACA recipients who are losing their legal status,” said Garcia.
Garcia was only two years-old when his parents left Mexico. Now, he’s 19, and has called Rockford home for the last 14 years.
“This is the only country I know.,” said Garcia. “My parents immigrated here when I was two years old. I could be deported back to Mexico and I don’t know what it looks like or anyone. This is my home.”
Garcia’s concerns are shared with others just like him. In September, the Trump administration announced it was ending the ‘Deferred Action for Child Arrivals’ immigration policy or DACA.
“The president then challenged Congress and ‘do-something,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on the Senate floor. “He said ‘if I believe that DACA is wrong, pass a law take care of the problem,’ and here we are in December. Just days away from the end of the year. We have done nothing. Nothing.”
One action was taken. 30 Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-16th), sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), urging that action be taken soon. Kinzinger released a statement that said:
“It’s critical that we act on a permanent, legislative solution that allows these immigrants… who have come out of the shadows and contributed to our society and economy, to stay here legally.”
Until then, Dreamers like Garcia have no choice but to wait.
“It makes me very sad,” said Garcia. “It makes me upset that members of Congress don’t see that this is a very big issue or that this is a serious thing that has to be addressed right away.”
President Trump gave Congress a deadline of March 2018.