Nebraska Senator Tony Vargas wrote a letter to Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, expressing disappointment in his decision to support the rescinding of DACA.
On June 29, Peterson's office joined U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in asking President Trump get rid of the program. DACA, which stands for Dreamers Action for Childhood Arrivals, began in 2012 to aid children of immigrants in obtaining social security numbers and work permits.
"DACA is a program that gives an incredible measure of stability to the lives of its recipients. It has helped over 3,00 young, hardworking Nebraska contribute to their communities, continue their education, and help fuel our state's economy," the letter said.
The letter was also undersigned by 19 additional state senators, including several Republicans.
Armando Becerril, a DREAMer, and now an audit associate at KPMG says at a time when DACA’s fate is uncertain, the letter from Vargas and 19 other senators to Peterson is the support DREAMers need.
“Since day one – since most of us came to this country, it’s been an uphill battle. And there’s been barriers and barriers and this is a new one that we’ll have to overcome. But seeing that support him, and the other senators really means a lot and gives us hope that there are people out there who will support us,”said Becerril.
Vargas told 3 News Now the Nebraska legislature has a history of supporting DACA youth in recent years, by supporting professional licenses for immigrant graduates, driver’s licenses for immigrants, and fought for undocumented youth to receive in-state tuition. He said the senators agreed it’s time to continue to stand up for DREAMers.
“If we as state senators and as elected officials don’t stand up for and share what our opinions are on this, we won’t be heard. And that means President Trump and the rest of the administration won’t listen to it,” said Vargas.
Vargas added that DACA youth contribute to Nebraska’s economy and communities, and says he and his accompanied senators will do what it takes to keep them here.
“My connection to this is deeply rooted in my background as a Peruvian, as a first generation American, as an immigrant. But you can't do this type of thing alone. There's no way I could've signed this letter, passed a resolution, passed these bills in the last session if it weren't for senators who do not identify with Latino youth but understand everything they're trying to do contribute to our state,” said Vargas.
You can read it in its entirety here.