White House Chief of Staff John Kelly says "Dreamers are not a priority for deportation". Kelly spoke Tuesday as lawmakers have deadlocked in an effort to reach a bipartisan deal on protecting from deportation recipients of the program, known as "Dreamers."
One of those Dreamers, Giovanni Galindo, attends Southern Illinois University who is concerned about his future.
“This is what I know the most, this is where I grew up," said Galindo.
Galindo, a sophomore at SIU, was born in Mexico, but came to the U.S. at six years old.
“I hope that people around the community see that people like me that are dreamers contribute to the society," Galindo said. "We are good people, this is our country too, this is where we grew up and have our friends and have our family.”
Galindo opens up about his parents.
"They left everything they know, they left their family," Galindo said. "My mom hasn’t seen my grandma in over 13 years. They left everything so my brother and I can have a better opportunity than they did and even here in the United States they’re both working 40 plus hours a week so that they can help me pay for school, because I can’t do it on my own. They are good people, I don’t know how else to express it."
According to the University spokesperson, as of last Fall Galindo is among 25 other Dreamers on the campus, many hoping for a path to citizenship.
“I hope to become an American citizen and receive all the rights that I deserve that I haven't been receiving,” Galindo said.
President of the Hispanic Student Council, Ana Hernandez, said the uncertainty is starting to weigh in on her as well.
“It’s stressful for me because I see it in my friends, I see it in my sister, I see it in my family that this is a life or death situation for a lot of people," Hernandez said.
The council has organized rallies, petitions to the Chancellor, host DACA documentaries, and even calls to U.S. Representative Mike Bost, who said:
“Our immigration system is broken and many steps will be needed to address this decades-long problem. But we can’t keep putting off a DACA fix and border security. It is my sincere hope that Congress and the president will find a just and reasonable solution for those affected by the DACA program.”
Rep Bost office says, the DACA program was not authorized by Congress, but created by executive order.
"We are now trying to legislate an immigration fix that 1) provides certainty to children (DREAMers) illegally brought to this country by no fault of their own, and 2) secures the border so we aren’t facing the same issue years from now of a large population with a quasi-legal status. Democrats in Congress have shown no appetite to address the long-term border security problem and even went to the extreme step of shutting down the government."
Galindo may have many hopes, but one he keeps close to his heart.
“My hope overall is to make my parents proud and let them know their sacrifice was not for nothing. And I feel like so far I'm doing that," Galindo said.
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