NEW YORK — About 1,000 young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers and their advocates – gathered in Battery Park on Saturday to send off recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA — who are walking for 16 days from New York City to the Supreme Court in Washington DC to defend the Obama-era immigration relief program.
On November 12, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on what organizers describe as the Trump administration’s unlawful attempt to terminate DACA.
Dozens of marchers including lead plaintiff and DACA enrolee Martin Batalla are expected to arrive at the nation’s capital shortly before the Supreme Court hears the DACA case that will decide the fate of some 700,000 young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. when they were children, on whether they will be allowed to stay or get deported.
“By having DACA, we’re allowed to work, the majority have a college degree, we work, and losing DACA it will jeopardize our lives and you know, the economy too,” said Batalla.
House judiciary committee chairman Jerry Nadler urged the Supreme Court to do the right thing for these undocumented youth.
“The right thing for them to do is to decide that President Obama’s decision on DACA was authorized and constitutional, and let DACA stand the wrong thing for them to do will be to declare DACA invalid and jeopardize all the Dreamers.”
A Fil-Am supporter said presidential candidates should make immigration reform a major issue during their campaign.
“This should definitely be on the table regardless of a candidate that you decide to vote for… home is here for immigrants and citizens, no matter what this is where we belong and we need to support others as well,” said Katheryne Calo.
Lawmakers said: the issue of immigration reform should not only be a priority for presidential aspirants, but for Congress to take action on.
Organizers said the future of about 700,000 Dreamers are not the only ones at stake when the Supreme Court decides on DACA on November 12.
They pointed out that 1.5 million people share a home with a dreamer and 8.8 billion tax dollars are paid by DACA recipients, and said it’s quite an economic impact on America if these Dreamers are deported.