Current recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are asking local leaders to give them a continued sense of security and agree to legislation for protection.
Early College of Forsyth student Fernando Piza moved to North Carolina with his parents at the age of 5 from Mexico. Piza said DACA has given him hope but he is now worried about the welfare of his family.
"One of the most important times that Congress should be doing work is now because it's going to affect not only us but our economic and social stability," Piza said.
A small group of supporters and DACA recipients requested support from Congressman Mark Walker at his Greensboro office Tuesday afternoon.
Along with wanting to know his point of view on the issue, representatives with the American Friends Service Committee are requesting a clean DREAM act; one that would be "free of funds or programs that would further criminalize their family members, like extra dollars for deportations, or a dangerous border wall, or penalties for sanctuary cities. "
Congress has six months to come to an agreement or else those current DACA card holders' statuses will naturally expire following March 2018.
Director of the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic Heather Scavone, with Elon University, explained further.
"Homeland Security has released a memo, it says they will accept renewals through October 5 so individuals may renew until October 5 and after that no longer," Scavone said. "DACA has essentially identified about 800,000 people with no criminal records, people who are by all accounts model individuals, to get on a path to citizenship and so we have very limited enforcement capabilities through ICE if we now focus those on essentially on model citizens, that would decrease ICE ability to focus on violent criminal aliens."
Sen. Thom Tillis released the following statement in regards to immigration reform:
"In the next week, I’ll be introducing legislation that will provide a fair and rigorous path for undocumented children to earn legal status by requiring them to be employed, pursue higher education, or serve in our Armed Forces. I know this kind of commonsense legislative fix can and should unite members of Congress, and I’ll be working closely with my colleagues on the path forward. It’s up to my Democratic colleagues to decide whether they want a permanent solution or to make this a political wedge issue. I hope they’ll choose bipartisanship."