GREENVILLE, SC – Candles and songs brought more than 300 Deferred Action For Childhood Arrival, or DACA, supporters in Greenville together Tuesday night for a vigil at the Peace Center.
It was held in solidarity with 800,000 DACA students nationwide who will no longer have access to the program.
“We need a definite answer,” said DACA recipient Diana Hoyos-Lopez. “We need to know if you support us or not,” she said in reference to American politicians.
Hoyos-Lopez said she came to the United States an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. She’s been living in the country since she was one year old.
“This country is the only country I know of, and sending me back to Mexico would mean starting me back at zero,” she explained.
Many Dreamers like Hoyos-Lopez took the podium and expressed strong disappointment and even anger toward President Trump’s decision to end the program.
“This is not the ending. This is a wake-up call. A call for action,” said Ilse Isidro, one of the Dreamers who spoke.
“It’s time for us to speak out and no longer hide,” added Erika Hernandez.
“It’s in line with his anti-immigrant rhetoric and anti-immigrant policies, but I’m hoping that he has a change of heart and if they do pass the dream act, he’ll sign it without adding anything else onto it,” said William McCorkle, leader of the activist group From the Ground Up.
The future of undocumented immigrant children in the country now lies in the hands of Congress.
Politicians across the country are split on what to do.
That includes within the Republican Party.
Greenville County’s GOP chairman Nate Leupp did defend the President’s decision to rescind the program.
Leupp provided the following statement:
President Trump’s decision to roll-back president Obama’s executive order on DACA and let congress legislate this matter is something I fully support. America can be tough on those who broke our laws, but also caring toward those who are in our country through no fault of their own.
Upstate Dreamers and those who support them want people to know their fight is far from over.
“I really won’t promoting advocacy for myself because I want to achieve that goal and that dream to move forward,” Hoyos-Lopez said.