SALT LAKE CITY — Though the move to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is hardly a surprise, it sparked outrage nationwide and in Utah.
"Dreamers," undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, and immigration advocates gathered on the steps of Utah's Capitol Hill to voice their disappointment with President Trump’s move to end DACA - a program that protects young immigrants from deportation.
“By ending the DACA program the president is once again demonstrating his lack of moral character,” said Luis Garza with Comunidades Unidas.
Dreamer Deyvid Morales, said he was saddened by the decision.
“Just for them to put an end to it doesn't make any sense other than the fact that it's about hatred, and it's not welcoming immigrants," Morales said. “Now, all of our dreams are just crumbling down.”
Morales said DACA changed his life. He graduated college, worked as a special educator for the Granite School District and created an app that helps dreamers apply for scholarships.
Senator Luz Escamilla (D-SLC) said the dreamers' last hope is Congress. The president has given them a six-month window to change DACA. Escamilla and other lawmakers are pleading with Utah’s congressional leaders, specifically Senator Orrin Hatch, to support the bipartisan 2017 Dream Act Bill that would grant dreamers a path to citizenship.
“We're hoping he can take leadership and push forward now that these families and individuals are in the worst case scenario that they could have been," Escamilla said.
Dreamers say they are not giving up without a fight. For more information on efforts to protect DACA, visit: http://lulac.org/advocacy/alerts/defend_DACA/