Adriana Miranda takes a selfie with the crowd during a DACA and TPS rally Tuesday. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)
“No nos vamos,” a crowd of a hundred chanted on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol: We’re not going.
The rallygoers were there to defend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status for immigrants on the day the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the Obama-era program that started in 2012. In 2017, President Donald Trump decided to wind down the program that allowed immigrants brought to the United States as children to live and work in the country.
The court cases will determine the fate of nearly 700,000 DACA recipients, including nearly 10,000 in Oregon.
Diana Alvarez is one of them.
A teacher in the Salem-Keizer School District, Alvarez said DACA has opened doors for her, but it didn’t help with getting a college degree because scholarships and loans require residency.
She asked the crowd to imagine being told you could be anything but realizing that didn’t apply if you were brought to the country illegally.
Alvarez said that realization hits hardest senior year, when doors close despite good grades because the person isn’t a citizen.
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For many, there is fear over being deported to a country they didn’t grow up in and barely know.
Adriana Miranda, the incoming executive director of CAUSA, Oregon’s immigrant rights organization, said without protection many of the DACA recipients, or Dreamers, will lose their homes and their livelihoods.
She said she wanted to send Trump a loud and clear message.
“Mr. President, this is our home and we are here to stay. We’re not going back, because this is clearly our home and we’re going to stay here,” Miranda said.
Miranda also had a message for Dreamers; “You matter. I see you, I hear you and I will continue to fight for you.”
Rallygoers held signs that read "Defend DACA and TPS. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)
Diana Alvarez hands out signs during a rally Tuesday. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)
A group gathers to take a photo during a DACA and TPS rally Tuesday. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)
Around a hundred people gathered for a DACA and TPS rally Tuesday. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)
A sign reads: "This is our homeland! #defendDACA (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)
Have a tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] or @daisysaphara.