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Sen. Dick Durbin: “I’m Gonna Fight” For Oscar And DREAMers Like Him

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In a floor speech and a series of tweets, Sen. Dick Durbin shared the story of Oscar Cornejo, one of the over 700,000 DREAMers whose futures in the US depend on DACA.

Oscar came to the US from Mexico as a five-year-old child. Not only did he grow up to become the first person in his family to go to college, he’s also become an award-winning student set on going to graduate school. One day, he hopes to become a teacher.

But because President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to undo DACA as soon as he’s sworn into office next year, Oscar’s life literally hangs in the balance.

“Will America be stronger if we deport Oscar, or if he stays here and achieves his dream of becoming an educator?” Sen. Durbin asked both President-elect Trump and the public. “The answer is clear.”

In the House, Democrats are asking President Obama to do what he can with his executive authority to protect DREAMers before the incoming Trump Administration. “In terms of public pressure, Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) suggested Obama issue an executive order that forbids future presidents from using information collected for DACA to carry out deportations,” wrote Elise Foley in the Huffington Post.

In a viral campaign earlier this week, DREAMers used the #WithDACA hashtag to express for themselves how much is at stake. “If the DACA program is phased out by President-elect Trump,” wrote DACA recipient Juan Escalante in a Medium post, “then it would not only end our permission to work for 800,000 immigrants like me and leave us exposed to deportation.”

“We can’t shut down DACA,” Sen. Durbin continued in his floor speech. “I’m gonna fight for Oscar, and the 744,000 who qualify for DACA, and the DREAMers like them.”