"They came from campuses across the country. They came with hope and conviction. And they came with a firm message: Time is running out," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "Undocumented college students, who were brought to the United States illegally as children and who are known as 'Dreamers,' took to the halls of Capitol Hill on Tuesday, joining several hundred supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The DACA program has enabled thousands of Dreamers to avoid being deported, to attend college, and to work. Amid the scramble in Congress to pass a tax overhaul, the students pressed lawmakers not to forget them or that the program expires in March without new legislation."
"The day started with impassioned pleas and the beating of drums, and ended with civil disobedience. The students hope that their message was heard and that leaders — on the Hill and back on campuses — will fight for their political cause.
26 Hours by Bus
Martha, a 20-year-old mathematics major and DACA recipient at Tarrant County College, in Fort Worth, traveled 26 hours by bus with a group of about 50 other students and supporters. Her DACA status will take her through graduation, but if a bill is not passed in two years, when she graduates, she will be unable to get a job. She wants to give back to her community by becoming a math teacher, but those plans may be in jeopardy. 'As a DACA recipient, I am not eligible for financial aid. Everything I have been paying has been out of pocket. So there are thousands and thousands of dollars that I have been investing in myself.'
Didn’t Tell Her Parents
Brenda, a 19-year-old DACA recipient, is studying health at Texas A&M University and wants to be an occupational therapist. Her family thought she was going to Washington for a fun trip. 'I called my mother last night and told her about it, and I knew she was going to get worried, and she started crying.'
Back to Square 1
Rafa, a 24-year-old DACA recipient studying sociology and Chicano and Latino studies at the University of California at Irvine, hopes to go into student affairs. He feels as if President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA has put him right back where he started, with an uncertain future. 'I try not to let it get to me emotionally because there are still things to get done in terms of my school and work and all of that.' He and his girlfriend are also expecting their first child, so he thinks about not only his own security, but also his family’s."
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Publication Date: 12/22/2017