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Immigrant advocates to Congressman Huizenga: please pass the DREAM Act for Christmas

A group of protestors outside of Congressman Bill Huizenga's office in Grandville
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio
Danny Carachero speaking to immigrant advocates at a protest outside of Congressman Bill Huizenga's office in Grandville

A group of protestors want Congressman Bill Huizenga to support the DREAM Act for Christmas this year.

The protestors stood outside of Congressman Huizenga’s office in Grandville, hoping he could be persuaded to see the issue as urgent.

The Republican congressman wasn’t at his office during the protest.

DACA is an Obama-era program that offered temporary protection from deportation. President Trump announced in September that he would end that program.

If Congress votes to pass the DREAM act, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children would have more legal protections.

Danny Caracheo is a DACA recipient living in Grand Rapids. He says there are several people who don’t support the so-called “Dreamers” because they believe it isn’t good for America.

“But just how they love their country and are doing what they think is right to protect their country, I am doing what is right because I love my country and I want to stay here,” Caracheo said.

Caracheo says he came to the U.S. when he was too young to know what was happening.

“My parents told me we were just going on vacation, but I’m not mad at them for that. They did what they did out of love for me and so that I could have a better life,” he said.

Huizenga doesn’t currently support the bill. A spokesperson from his office says the congressman thinks the objective of allowing children and young adults to live as U.S. citizens is a noble cause, but there are still some concerns about border security.

Lezley Rodriguez protested today because her younger sister is a DACA recipient.

“She's a sibling, she's in my household. I see the struggles she goes through. It doesn't just affect her, but me as well,” Rodriguez said.

Despite some people in West Michigan who agree with President Trump’s decision to end DACA, Rodriguez thinks Dreamers have a big impact on the community.

“I think a lot of people should come to these protests to see that their friends and their neighbors need their support. I don’t know why, but a lot of people don’t realize how many people on DACA are in the community,” she said. 

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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