DACA support rally held in Grand Rapids ahead of potential government shutdown

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jan 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 22:17:51-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- People gathered in Calder Plaza Friday to show their support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The group included Dreamers, people directly affected by the program, who say they're going to continue to make sure their voices are heard until Congress comes up with permanent legislation for DACA.

Danny Caracheo, a Dreamer who attended the the rally, is also an active volunteer with the West Michigan Coalition for Immigration Reform.

"I’d be losing everything, I’m a Michigander at heart," Caracheo said. "I love going to the beach at the Great Lakes and everything, so I would be losing everything I have. I just got hired as a legal assistant two weeks ago, I’m on a full tuition scholarship at Davenport University. I have my entire life here and I don’t want to lose it. I have all my friends, everyone here."

His situation is similar to Keyla and Jorge Garcia, two other Dreamers who attended Friday's rally.   The two spent their first few years of marriage unsure of their future.

"Are we going to be out of our jobs? We own a home in Wyoming so are we going to lose that home? Are we going to be able to continue our educations and further our careers? Our whole life is here, so it’s just devastating," Keyla said.

The three of them say they're going to continue to fight for the DREAM Act, which allows 800,000 immigrant youth to live, work and study in America without fear of deportation.

"Now is the time to fight for this, to push for this," Caracheo said.

There's no word on if there's going to be permanent legislation for the DREAM Act, but the program will be shut down in March if legislators can't come up with a plan to keep it.