NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The estimated 8,000 so-called “Dreamers” in Connecticut, along with about 800,000 nationwide, were caught in the middle of Monday’s battle over shutting down the federal government.
The deal to keep the government going another three weeks and negotiate about the “Dreamers” is doing little to relieve their anxiety that they could be deported to countries they don’t know after the beginning of March.
For the “Dreamers,” those young people brought here illegally as children, it’s hard to conceive with nearly 80 percent of the public sympathetic to their plight, that their future remains in jeopardy.
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23-year-old Sergio Olmedo Ramierez was brought to New Haven from Mexico by his mother when he was 9-years-old. He thrived in the public schools, went to a private high school on scholarship and graduated college with a degree in political science. He now hopes to become a lawyer. He works on immigration issues at the Elm City’s oldest Latino social service agency, Junta for Progressive Action.
He believes anxiety among “Dreamers” has gotten worse, saying, “I think there’s a lot of disappointment knowing that our lives get pushed down just as they push the can down the line with the ‘Continuing Resolution.'”
That “Continuing Resolution” passed by Congress on Monday only lasts three weeks, and there’s only a promise to discuss the plight of the ‘Dreamers.”
Added Ramierez, “Many of us call this our home and we have nothing but allegiance to this country and what we are looking for is that opportunity to be completely recognized as American citizens.”
Alicia Caraballo of the Fair Haven-based community service agency stated, “It really is a disgrace for us to be sitting here and having to argue and having to talk about what really is a positive thing for our country.”
Ramierez says he looks back on his early days in school in New Haven with fondness, especially at the start of the day, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. “For me, it was one of the things I looked forward to because it made me feel part of something,” he explained.
There is a group of U.S. Senators from both political parities that say they are intent on finding a way to protect the “Dreamers” in the next three weeks.