DREAMers speak out at Rep. Carbajal's news conference - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

DREAMers speak out at Rep. Carbajal's news conference

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In response to the Trump administration’s recent action to end the DACA program, Congressman Salud Carbajal is urging passage of the Dream Act. 

The congressman held a news conference Wednesday featuring testimonials from those affected on the Central Coast.

“I feel many of us know no other country than the United States and we are Americans by heart, we just need to become Americans by paper now," said Erik Garcia, Cal Poly student. 

Garcia was brought to the United States undocumented at the age of one. Many years later, he is getting ready to graduate from Cal Poly with a degree in Political Science.

“When DACA came out, I remember making the commitment to myself that I did need to do something and well, I mean, here we are five years later," Garcia said. 

Wednesday afternoon, Erik, along with many other DREAMers, a term used for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, gathered with hopes of being heard. 

“We need to stay optimistic as we always have," Garcia added. "I am asking you as our friend, as our neighbors and really just as our teachers, community members to fight with us."

Allan Hancock College student Victor Torrico said he worries every day about the fate he and his classmates will face if there’s a major change in national immigration policy, especially because he has a one-year-old daughter who could eventually also be affected.

“I might have to go back and I might have to take my child with me, and I want that child to be born, raised here. If I can’t have the chance, she is a citizen. I want her to be able to experience what a citizen really feels like," Torrico said. 

Congressman Carbajal said he wants to raise awareness and push Congress to move forward in passing the DREAM Act, which would give students a path to citizenship.

"I would say thousands of students in the Central Coast that are DREAMers and they are all working, going to school, being productive citizens, paying their taxes, and really attempting to live that American dream," Carbajal said. 

Representatives from Carbajal's office are planning a forum at Cuesta College to help answer questions about what might happen if the DACA program ends. That forum will be this Friday, Sept. 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Cultural and Performing Arts Center on the San Luis Obispo campus. The free event will cover people’s legal rights and provide immigration resources.

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