On Tuesday, 34 House Republicans, including several members of the Republican Main Street Caucus, sent a letter urging Speaker Paul Ryan to put a permanent solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives before the end of the year. One of those gatherings was in our region, Wednesday night.
Snyder, who has called himself the most pro-immigrant governor in the country, said he has joined the "Dream Coalition" in support of DACA-eligible immigrants. The program provides temporary protection from deportation and permission to legally work.
"It's the federal government's responsibility to establish immigration laws that work for American families while welcoming those wanting to become law-abiding citizens of the United States", he said.
The date of the vigil, December 7, marks the midpoint between when President Donald Trump announced in September the rescinding of the DACA program - that took effect in 2012 - and its expected legal end in March.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Monday that many of these immigrants have contributed to the nation's well-being. "I stood up for the Pledge of Allegiance like everybody else in my class and got involved in clubs and organizations, such as the Lincoln Rotary and St. Joseph's Church", she said. "I've lived in Tennessee my whole life".
"My hope for the future is for everyone to understand what we have been through", Ruiz said.
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Jimenez recently graduated from Tennessee College of Applied Technology and plans to be a nurse.
While DACA allowed young illegal immigrants to go to school and work in the US, it did not grant them the status they desperately needed.
"That's what's holding a lot of dreamers back because they're not able to live to their full potential", Huerta added. This proposal, as I have told them personally, can not be considered a good faith effort to provide protection for the Dreamers, including those who were enrolled in DACA. It is also a fact that CIS, FAIR, NumbersUSA, IRLI and CAPS have direct ties to white nationalists, want to end all immigration, and are threatening the wellbeing of myself and other Dreamers in order to enact a radical anti-immigrant agenda.
"We are always engaged in the community", ETSU professor and ally of dreamers, Mildred Maisonet said.
Although the current DACA program is set to expire in March, about 22,000 DACA individuals were unable to renew their status this year, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).