Detroit DACA Recipients Vow to ‘Continue to Fight’

How should the United States treat undocumented immigrants brought here as minors?

Jake Neher/WDET

Hundreds of people attended rallies across Metro Detroit on Tuesday in support of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The rallies took place just hours after the Trump Administration announced it’s rescinding the program, which protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors.

The lives of hundreds of thousands of people in America changed for the better with the implementation of DACA under the Obama Administration in 2012.

These are people who could not go to college and could not legally hold a job before the program existed.

DACA recipients like Detroit Today guests Brenda — who did not want WDET to use her last name — and Jose Franco have been taking full advantage of those protections since then, chasing their dreams of contributing to society. Now, they say they’ll lose all of that if the Trump Administration ends DACA and Congress fails to create new protections for these immigrants.

Hear WDET’s coverage of Tuesday’s rallies and an interview with DACA holder Juan Gonzalez here.

On Tuesday, at a rally in Southwest Detroit, one protester asked Detroit Today producer Jake Neher, if America is unwilling to accept these young people, then who is worthy of being an American? Who is worthy of this country’s freedoms and opportunities if not these DACA recipients?

Jake Neher/WDET

“This is what I call home,” says Brenda, a junior at the University of Michigan.

“DACA went into effect when I was around, I think, 16,” she continues. “I think, as a high school student, being able to be as normal as everyone else really meant a lot.”

Franco is the founder of the group One Michigan, a group that advocates for immigrants’ right.

“We were expecting that this announcement would happen sooner or later,” says Franco.

“But at the same time, I come from an organizing background… The same way that we demanded DACA to happen is the same way that we’re going to push ahead for positive legislation that protects DACA holders and not forget that our parents… have no protection. And we’re going to continue to fight for them and our neighbors as well.”

Henderson also speaks with representatives of support groups working with DACA recipients, a professor who studies these immigration issues from an academic angle, and two immigration attorneys. He also takes calls from listeners, including other DACA holders.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Jake Neher/WDET



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