The Republicans, it seems, are determined to drive their respectability and electability into the ground. Four times already, they have pushed for votes on the DHS funding bill passed by the House, which unfortunately contains riders that would end DACA and DAPA — maximizing the deportations of DREAMers and immigrant parents. National security funding is too important to risk, but that’s where Senate Republicans are making their stand anyway. DHS funding runs out this Friday, yet Republicans still refuse to move forward on what everyone knows must eventually be passed — a clean long-term funding bill.
Sen. Richard Durbin has been taking to the Senate floor to lift up DACA stories — the successes of young immigrants across the nation who are living the American Dream because of executive action. Inexplicably, these are the young people whom the Republicans want to deport. Today, he highlighted the story of Mithi Del Rosario, who came to the United States from the Philippines when she was 5 years old.
Mithi grew up in California. She was an excellent student who dreamed of becoming a doctor. In high school, Mithi was on the Principal’s Honor Roll and was an AP Scholar. She received a Golden State Seal Merit Diploma and a Governor’s Scholar Award.
Mithi was admitted to the University of California, Los Angeles, one of the nation’s top universities. At UCLA, Mithi volunteered as a research assistant in a lab that studies infants at high risk of developing autism. Mithi also volunteered as a crisis counselor for UCLA Peer Helpline, advising students who were victims of rape, child abuse, and substance abuse. Mithi eventually became a trainer for new counselors. Mithi also volunteered as a mentor and tutor for at-risk middle-school children in Los Angeles.
Mithi graduated from UCLA with a degree in psychology. But her options were limited because of her immigration status. She was unable to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor.
In 2012, President Obama established the DACA program, and Mithi’s world changed. Mithi began working as a research assistant at the UCLA School of Medicine. And she has applied to attend medical school. During her spare time, Mithi continues to volunteer with the autism research lab where she started her research career 7 years ago. She also serves as a peer mentor to ten undergraduate students at UCLA.
In a letter to Senator Durbin, Mithi delivered the following message to members of Congress who want to shut down the DACA program and deport her and other Dreamers: “Please, please listen to our stories. This is my home, and the only country I know. DACA gives us greater opportunities to give back to the country we love.”
Watch Sen. Durbin speaking on the Senate floor, below: