Senator Warren Speaks On The Removal Of DACA, Making Her Statement Personal With These Three Stories
“We can and we must pass the Dream Act now.”
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren recently spoke about the removal of DACA and emphasized that Congress now has the chance to grant DACA recipients permanent legal status via The Dream Act of 2017. “Donald Trump promised to be on the side of working people,” recalled Warren, pointing out that he is now “doing the exact opposite of what he told the American people he would do.” Senator Warren presented a timeline of the events that have occurred since the start of Trump’s presidency, beginning with the month of November, when “Trump named Jeff Sessions, a man considered too racist to be a federal judge, to be our nation’s attorney general.” Senator Warren moved on to January, “Trump rolled out an unconstitutional Muslim ban,” and then August, “Trump used his first presidential pardon to shield a racist former sheriff who broke the law.” And of course, in September, Trump decided to end DACA.
As a way to shed light on the importance of passing The Dream Act, Senator Warren introduced three DACA recipients from Massachusetts and told their stories. Senator Warren asked, “What does DACA mean to you?” This is what they responded:
Reina Guevara: came to the U.S. at 11 years old.
Before DACA, Reina used to work “up to 70 hours a week in a restaurant for a boss who sexually harassed her,” Warren stated. Because of her status as an undocumented immigrant, Reina was afraid to speak out about the issue. However, all of this changed once DACA was implemented.
This is what DACA means to Reina:
“DACA means to me the opportunity to be the first in my family to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. To work without the fear of being humiliated and exploited because of my status.”
Bruno Villegas McCubbin: came to the U.S. at 6 years old.
After being attacked by armed robbers in Peru, Bruno’s family decided to move to the U.S. to live in a safer environment. With DACA, Bruno excelled in high school, graduating second in his class, and is now a college student at Harvard University.
This is what DACA means to Bruno:
“It means the opportunity for many of us to work here legally and to achieve the American Dream that this country still boasts. So that we can then give back to our families that have sacrificed so much for us, and to the country that helped form us into what we are today.”
Elias Rosenfeld: came to the U.S. at 6 years old.
After being held at gunpoint in Venezuela, Elias’s mom made the decision to move to the U.S. for the safety of her family. Even though Elias later lost his mom at 11 years old and had no documentation after her passing, with DACA, all of that changed. As a DACA recipient, Elias excelled in high school, taking a total of 13 Advanced Placement courses and eventually earning a scholarship to attend Brandice University.
When Senator Warren asked Elias what DACA meant to him, he responded:
“It’s been a source of optimism and a light of protection. For years, before DACA arrived, I would sleep in bed at night with a constant fear of deportation, imagining in my head the visual of ICE breaking through my door to deport myself or my sister. When DACA came, the fear stopped.”
After touching on these three personal stories, Senator Elizabeth concluded her speech by stating, “We have the chance right here in Congress to take an important step toward building a stronger, more vibrant America.”