Oregon Senator Ron Wyden met Saturday with Eugene area DACA recipients and advocates of the program. He wanted stories he could bring back to Washington to convince Senators who are not yet on board with legislation to protect the DREAMers.
In a small room on the U of O campus, half a dozen DREAMers spoke with the Senator. They told of working two jobs while maintaining an A average in high school. Of going to college with sights set on careers in medicine or government. All of them were buoyed by the DACA program, and then hit with varying levels of anxiety last month.
In September, President Trump ended DACA, giving Congress six months to pass a bill to protect its recipients. The 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy provided protection from deportation for people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Senator Wyden has hopes for a new bill:
Wyden: “We can get this passed. We can get this passed if we just get the facts out. If we just make sure that senators of both political parties hear what I have heard over the last couple of hours.”
Wyden thinks it's important to get legislation through in 2017, before the politics of mid-term elections begin next year. He estimates there are around 15 senate votes yet to secure.