DACA recipients express concern about future, amid important deadline

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Sergio Ramirez is a recipient of DACA, which is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

“I came to New Haven when I was nine years, old in fourth grade. Did not know any English,” said Ramirez.

He took part in a discussion with Representative Rosa DeLauro and several others Friday morning at Gateway Community College in New Haven. Many in his situation are growing concerned about their future in this country.

“We don’t pay for their education, they take care of that,” said Rep. DeLauro. “They play by the rules, they follow the requirements and just by fiat we are looking at them and saying all bets are off.”

Related: Thursday is deadline for “Dreamers” to renew immigration status

DACA was put in place by President Obama in 2012. It protects immigrants who were brought to the United States as young kids.

“There is something in Congress happening. We need to advocate for that,” said Ramirez.

President Trump ended the program last month , giving Congress six months to legalize it. At Friday’s meeting a number of DACA recipients were in attendance.

“I want to get their stories because I think the personal testimony is so critically important to members of Congress to understand what is happening,” said DeLauro.

If anyone under DACA had a permit that was set to expire between now and March 5th, they were given a chance to submit renewals by midnight Thursday. Some 36,000 of them did not get those renewals.

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“This is toying with lives of people and that’s just not humane or American,” said Ramirez.

President Trump has said he has love for the Dreamers. So far, congress has not acted on the matter.

“The president could move forward. He could push his colleagues to do this and not hurt these young people who have done nothing to deserve this kind of treatment,” said DeLauro.