Delaware Public Media

DSU DREAMers lobby Congress for DACA fix ahead of March 5th deadline

Feb 2, 2018

Delaware State University student Dulce Guerrero would like to just focus on her political science classes and her dreams of becoming a lawyer someday.

But she has to lobby Congress every month just to stay in the U.S.

Guerrero said she wakes up everyday scared and stressed out. She’s what some people call a DREAMer - an undocumented resident who was brought to the U.S. when she was 2 years old. President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, last September. The program afforded undocumented people brought here as children protection from deportation.

Guerrero said she has protested and engaged in the past, but now she and a group of DSU Dreamers are focused on lobbying members of Congress.

“This time around, we realized that you know because of the administration that we had, we needed to go inside and have these conversations," she said. "Have the difficult conversations and sit down with Republicans members and ask them like ‘What’s it going to take to support a bill?’”

DACA allows Guerrero to work, drive and go to school and she's fighting to keep her legal status. She said many members of Congress have never met an undocumented person before.

“So I think for them, it’s a very eye opening experience," she said. "When they sit down with us, they realize that we’re you know we’re no different than their grandchildren or we’re no different than their children or we’ve gone to schools at places where you know they have family members.”

Trump set a March 5th deadline for Congress to find a solution. Guerrero said she hoped for more of an agreement protecting Dreamers from deportation following the recent government shutdown over the issue of immigration.

But while Guerrero’s work permit doesn’t expire until 2019, she continues to hope for a permanent solution that will allow her and other Dreamers to stay in the U.S. She plans to lobby Congress again next month.