San Antonio, TX – On the fifth anniversary of the successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) joined immigrant youth from San Antonio and across Texas to discuss DACA, the risks if the program is revoked, and the importance of protecting its recipients.
During the dinner, Congressman Castro (D-TX) spoke to eight young immigrants about efforts happening across the country to ensure that DACA recipients remain protected from deportation and can continue contributing to the country they call home.
According to Congressman Castro:
At last night’s dinner, I met a group of hardworking young people who are pursuing their academic and career dreams, all while living in fear that they may be forced to leave the country they call home. Their stories are inspiring, and their contributions to our society are valuable. We must defend DACA and protect Dreamers.
According to Javier Romero, a DACA recipient and recent graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio:
DACA to me is more than an opportunity for employment. This program has allowed me to not only complete my education, but go a step further and apply the knowledge to the professional field of civil engineering, where I am able to make decisions that help accommodate a growing population and serve the safety and welfare of the public. Even though it’s not permanent, DACA has allowed me to feel like I belong to this culture, and the country I call home. Most importantly, I am able to give back to my community and my family by being authorized to work legally. DACA opened doors that at one point seemed forever closed. It would be tragic to see the doors shut, not only for me but also for the other hundreds of thousands of recipients.
The DACA program is an unqualified success, providing new opportunities and futures for nearly 800,000 Dreamers who live, study, and work in America, including 271,000 who are DACA-eligible in Texas. Each DACA recipient has come forward, passed a background check and been granted permission to live and work legally in America. As a result, many have been able to fulfill their dreams of attending and completing college; most are working legally, paying taxes and providing for their families; and all are finding ways to contribute to the country they call home without fear of deportation.
The August 15 dinner was part of a nationwide “Dreamer Dinners” campaign. The initiative invites Senators, Congressman, and local elected officials to join an immigrant family for a meal to discuss how federal immigration actions impact children, families, and communities. This campaign is a spinoff of the “DAPA Dinners Campaign”.