One by one, recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program also known as “Dreamers” shared how President Donald Trump’s proposed immigration framework will affect immigrant communities in the border city.
The group of Dreamers presented their response to President Trump’s State of the Union speech on Wednesday, Jan. 31, in front of the USCIS Enforcement and Removal Operations Field Office in Downtown, San Diego.
The “Border Dreamers’ State of the Union” was held one day after Trump’s first State of the Union, in which he mentioned that Congress should accept the immigration framework the White House presented last week.
A framework, which addresses exchanging the legal status and path to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants for $25 billion in funding for border security.
“Securing the Southern and Northern border of the United States takes a combination of physical infrastructure, technology, personnel, resources, authorities, and the ability to close legal loopholes that are exploited by smugglers, traffickers, cartels, criminals, and terrorists,” the tentative framework released on Thursday, Jan. 25, reads.
Each speaker shared why this framework will not be embraced by the community because it places their family and fellow immigrant community members in danger of deportation with the increase of immigration enforcement in San Diego because of its proximity to the border.
“Their offer, this path toward a sudo citizenship, claiming that they’re fighting for us, advocating for us, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the GOP and the White House does not care about us, does not care about immigrants and it’s evident, it’s clearly evident in this disrespectful offer that they have made to us,” Alireza Torabi, DACA recipient, said.
Torabi shared that with this framework, the administration will place Dreamers in the position of being forced to choose between the wellbeing and the safety of their family members and their futures.
“Our reality is much different than what was painted last night by the President of the United States of America,” Torabi said.
Francisco Peralta Vargas, Dreamer and San Diego City College student said that watching Trump’s State of the Union he heard the president say that Americans are also dreamers and although he agrees, he said, “Dreamers are also Americans.”
Immigration and criminal defense attorney Dulce Garcia share that the Enforcement and Removal Operations Field Office were they presented their Border Dreamers’ State of the Union was the very location where family members of those present have gone through removal proceedings.
“This is a significant place (for) us because this is a place where some of our family members have spent time in detention,” Garcia said.
She said they are not willing to accept any deal that puts others in the immigrant community in danger.
“Here in our border, when you say increased border security that increased border security doesn’t stop at the wall, it literally means the agents will be in our community questioning our people,” Garcia said.
The Dreamers urge Democrats who have said they support Dreamers not to accept the offer, Torabi said.
“This is an offer that puts the most vulnerable amongst us at risk,” Torabi said. “It is an offer that we do not want.”