DREAMers hold rallies across CA to urge Congress to act on permanent solution to DACA

DREAMers are shown at a rally in front of City Hall in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, March 5, 2018. (KABC)

DREAMers in cities all across California held rallies Monday as a way to send a message to Congress.

"The first thing that we want to do is send a message to Congress that they were elected to bring forward solutions for our country, that they have not done their job," said Angelica Salas, of CHIRLA.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children, officially ended Monday, but courts have allowed parts of the program to continue.

"We're hoping that Congress has gotten the message that March 5 is an important date. Not because Donald Trump was able to terminate DACA, but because the DREAMers are still alive and breathing here in the United States of America and they're having a good day," state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.

Opponents of DACA expect it will go to the Supreme Court. They said President Donald Trump offered a compromise of protection for DACA recipients in exchange for stronger border security - but it never made it through Congress.

"What they did is they just said no to every other thing that the president wanted in return and now we have no deal. They might find themselves in a situation when the Supreme Court, which we believe that they will do, is strike down DACA as unlawful. They're going to be looking back at this time wishing they took that deal," said R.J. Hauman, with the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

But Melody K., with CHIRLA, said DACA is still dead and despite the fact that people can renew, DREAMers need to expect the worst outcome.

"We cannot do new applications. We can only do renewals. We have to expect the worst decision either in the fall or in the upcoming year and still fight for something permanent," she said.

Congress will have to make the final call on creating something permanent. There is hope in the community because another budget meeting is scheduled toward the end of March, where some sort of DACA deal could be included.

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politicsdacaimmigrationimmigration reformPresident Donald TrumpbudgetCaliforniaSouthern California
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