Utah DACA recipients rally in Washington in support for DACA

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SALT LAKE CITY — Two Utah DACA recipients join hundreds of activists today at the nation’s capital for the Supreme Court’s hearing on the termination of the DACA program.

Xochitl Juarez and Ciriac Alvarez flew to Washington D.C. last night, joining activists from across the country to rally for their right to live and work in the U.S.

Mexico may be the place where Xochitl Juarez and Ciriac Alvarez were born, but to them, Utah is home.

“So I was brought into the United States when I was three years old. I don’t really remember much, I just remember growing up here,” said Xochitl Juarez, DACA recipient.

“My family and I immigrated to the U.S. when I was five years old, which was about 17 years ago, and we’ve lived in Salt Lake City, Utah ever since,” said Ciriac Alvarez, DACA recipient.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, has granted Juarez and Alvarez along with thousands of other undocumented immigrants the opportunity to work legally and become contributing members to society.

“DACA has changed my life completely, I was able to get a job, and I have just climbed the ladder with DACA.  It has given me hope to become somebody in life,” said Juarez.

“DACA was an opportunity for me to move forward with my life as a young adult,” said Alvarez.

The Obama-era program’s fate lies in the hands of the Supreme Court as the Trump administration seeks to end it.  

“The Supreme Court is going to hear our arguments on DACA cases and that’s going to determine the future of DACA,” said Juarez. 

“I hope the Supreme Court decides with the other courts and say that the Trump administration did end the program illegally and allows the DACA program to continue,” said Alvarez.  

If the court decides to end the program, this will bring an overwhelming fear of stability and security.

“The thought of deportation or the thought of living somewhere else when it’s not my choice, I think that’s the part where it’s really scary,” said Alvarez. 

“This is my home. Home is here, and I can’t imagine going somewhere that I don’t have these opportunities,” said Juarez.

The future of DACA remains up in the air until a final ruling that will likely take place in the spring of 2020. 

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