By Joe Farkus, NDG Contributing Writer
More than a hundred people turned out for a “Defend DACA” rally outside City Hall Wednesday, Sept. 6 organized by representatives of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in Dallas. The rally – which was attended by dozens of activists, Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia, Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, State Rep. Victoria Neave, and others – featured a variety of speakers, including many DREAMers attending school and working here in North Texas.
“[This rally] is really about what they represent in the best of America,” rally organizer and LULAC Chapter #102 President Domingo Garcia told the crowd before introducing several DREAMers to speak. “The Statue of Liberty and its “Bring me your poor huddled masses yearning to be free” – that dream is what these DREAMers are about.”
The rally was organized in response to the White House’s announcement Tuesday it would be ending the DACA program designed to give temporary legal status to young undocumented immigrants brought here as children who desire to work and attend school here in the U.S.
“We grew up thinking we were going to have the same opportunities as any other kid,” Brenda Herrera, a DREAMer and El Centro College student who was brought to America at the age of 2 by her parents, told the North Dallas Gazette. “[My parents] came thinking this was the land of the free. We lived in the shadows and once we were brought out by DACA, we’re pushed back in.”
“This is an incredibly unjust act that is targeting the most vulnerable people in this country,” Dallas lawyer and candidate for Dallas County Democratic Party Chair Chris Hamilton told the North Dallas Gazette. “This is a political ploy that will damage this country and history will not look kindly on anyone who goes along with this type of injustice.”
The President’s decision will affect nearly 800,000 immigrants currently working and living in the U.S. currently – 120,000 alone here in Texas. His rescinding of the President Obama’s executive order installing DACA leaves Congress with the responsibility of drafting a replacement program.
“I want the DREAMers that live in our district and throughout North Texas to know that we have their back,” Dallas State Rep. Victoria Neave (D) told the North Dallas Gazette after speaking to the crowd. “Although its heartbreaking for our community right now, we don’t want them to give up hope. “
“We’ve got to put partisan politics aside,” Neave continued. “We’ve got to start working together. Enough is enough.”