DACA members hold prayer vigil under the Arc of Dreams

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The U.S. Supreme Court has now heard arguments regarding DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

In 2017, President Donald Trump called for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or ‘DACA’ to be undone.

In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court is debating its fate. Across the nation, thousands of ‘DACA Dreamers’ met in prayer hoping the Court will see the support for the program.

The weather may be cold, and the wind might be howling, but it’s not louder than the voices of the South Dakota DACA dreamers.

They’re praying and singing alongside other advocates for the U.S. Supreme Court Justices. They say they hope to show them the importance of the DACA program.

“It’s helping me show that there’s people that are will to demonstrate their support regardless of what perils or what nature throws in our way,” DACA recipient Alexi Estrada said.

As the program’s fate remains uncertain, Estrada stands alongside fellow members; dreaming of a positive outcome.

“It’s hard to find the words for it, but…I’m very glad to be here, to be a voice for people because it is scary to talk about. You always feel that it could end at any time,” Estrada said.

And what better place to do so than under an Arc of Dreams.

“Isn’t that pretty perfect? Because we are all a bunch of dreamers here in the United States. That’s why we came to the United States because they had a dream and so this is the latest generation of people wanting to fulfill their dream,” Sister Mary Thomas said.

DACA means Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It protects undocumented youth from deportation and gives them a work permit.

Estrada came to the U.S. when he was one year old and has been in the program since its formation in 2012. It’s helped him make many strides in the U.S., like finding a stable job.

“I started off at Burger King… JCPenney, and now I’m actually at Wells Fargo for five years and have been a personal banker ever since,” Estrada said.

And later stable life.

“I’ve been able to get a car, get an apartment, marry my beautiful wife,” Estrada said.

“And they’ve been contributing to the United States in a whole host of ways to our economy, to our workforce, in lots of ways they’ve been a positive influence in our country,” Thomas said.

As the wind pushes them, they’re staying firm, holding tightly on to their dreams they say will help make others’ come true.

“We apply for our positions, we earn our places, we just want to give that chance and without DACA we never had it. So that’s… opportunity and equality. That’s what we’re all wanting,” Estrada said.

The deadline for an official decision by the Supreme Court is set for sometime early next year. To learn more about DACA, visit the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services website.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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