Triad DACA Recipients Call On Lawmakers For Support
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A few hours after the Trump administration formally announced the end of DACA, local beneficiaries of the program went to a Triad Congressman to ask for help.
Several DACA recipients showed up at Congressman Mark Walker's office in Greensboro to ask for his support.
They want him to step in to save the program through legislation.
The Obama-era policy protects 800,000 young people brought into this country illegally.
The Trump administration is starting a plan to phase out the policy, but it gives Congress a 6-month window to pass legislation that could eventually save the program before protected individuals lose their DACA status.
Araceli Garcia-Garnica, a freshman at Bennett College, was one of the DACA recipients at Rep. Walker's office on Tuesday.
"I started realizing that just in a second I could lose everything I've worked hard for my entire life. All of the sacrifices my parents have made for me," Garcia-Garnica said.
She asked to speak with Congressman Walker at his office but he's currently in Washington. Communications Director Jack Minor did speak with her briefly.
"I'm a freshman in college and I could end up getting deported by this," Garcia-Garnica said to Minor.
Minor replied by saying, "I can assure you we...we will make sure that does not happen."
WFMY News 2 asked Minor what he meant by "we will make sure that does not happen." Minor said he was simply echoing what the White House has said previously-- that non-violent immigrants are not a priority when it comes to deportations. Minor said he did not mean it as a formal promise to protect her from being deported.
We asked Garcia-Garnica how she interpreted Minor's comment. She said it did not give her much reassurance.
Congressman Walker was not available for an interview today but his office sent a statement.
It reads, "In 2012, President Obama acted unilaterally and illegally to create the DACA program. Government overreach has taken our broken immigration system and made it worse. Congress should find solutions that show compassion and fairness, while upholding the rule of law."