SALEM, Ore. -- Advocates and supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Oregon gathered at the Oregon State Capitol Monday for a small rally.
DACA is the immigration plan that gives protections to children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.
There are 11,000 people covered by DACA in Oregon, according to advocates.
The gathering marked the day that President Trump had said the program would end unless congress came up with a solution to DACA. Federal courts blocked the president and the program did not end.
Many DACA recipients are now young adults like Anahi Barragan, who worries her work permit will expire in less than two years. The clock is ticking.
“It is ticking and very fast,” she said. “Because after that I really don't know. We are trying to figure out what we're gonna do now,” she added.
Barragan and others are stepping out of the shadows to tell their stories, including the shock of learning they are here illegally.
“I did not chose to come here illegally and I had no choice on that. And at some point I was very angry with my mother about that because once I realized when I was 18 that I did not have a social and I was not a U.S. citizen—I was angry at my mom for that decision that she made. But later realized it was a good decision because it was for the better of our family,” said Barragan.
Those who gathered for the rally heard Governor Kate Brown say the state would do what it could to protect the DACA recipients.
“While the White House continues to show little regard for the principles of our constitution, we will make our voices heard,” said Brown.
The Oregon Legislature recently passed laws affirming that DACA recipients can apply for drivers licenses and pay in state tuition at Oregon’s schools of higher education.