'Dreamers' symposium at PCC East Campus - Tucson News Now

'Dreamers' symposium at PCC East Campus

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It has been nearly two years since President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.

It protects from deportation certain young people who were brought to the United States as children.

However, those people have limited rights.

Congress has not passed immigration reform, including the Dream Act, that would include a path to citizenship for those young people, so-called Dreamers.

Dreamers would have to meet several requirements to qualify.

Pima Community College hosted a symposium Thursday, called "What's Next For Dreamers?"

The audience heard local immigrant rights activists give a history of immigration and immigration law in the U.S. and how they believe the United States got to this point, and where the country goes from here.

Jessica Garcia is a DACA recipient and a Pima Community College student.

"I will continue to work in our community. I think if we can educate our communities and let them know what are their rights and what's the right thing to do, I mean we can create a change," Garcia says.

She says young people like her just want to be part of this country.

Tucson attorney and immigration law expert Margo Cowan says "These young people are leaders of tomorrow and they have grown up here. They're making tremendous contributions to our communities. Now they have regularized their status through the Deferred Action program and they continue to make great contributions," Cowan says.

She says Dreamers are not in limbo, that they are full participants in our democracy.

Another presenter, Tucson attorney and immigrants' rights activist Isabel Garcia, told the audience that, "We are in crisis because we don't know immigration history."

Garcia says immigrants, especially from Mexico, heeded the call to come to the United States to work.

She says, when the economy is good, immigrants are encouraged to come to the United States where they work for low wages, but blamed when the economy falters.

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