Local DACA recipient participates in hunger strike over protection for families

Posted at 6:42 PM, Sep 14, 2017

President Trump is inching closer to a deal with democrats that would protect 800,000 young immigrants from deportation.

DACA recipient Valeria Ruiz-Lira admits the president surprised her Wednesday night, this time in a good way.

"I'm excited, with this pressure, slowly but surely he's moving towards us," said Ruiz Lira.

Ruiz-Lira is a Racine resident and an immigrant rights activist who's been applying the pressure.

"It created momentum; it created a statement as DACA recipients," she said.

With her future in the states on the line, Ruiz-Lira participated in a five-day hunger strike to send a message to the Trump.

"By day two, it really started to hit,” she said. “I'm mentally feeling drained."

On day five without food, Trump rescinded DACA on September 5 with a six month grace period for lawmakers to come up with a plan. A feeling of defeat changed to hope for nearly 7,600 Wisconsin residents who would be impacted after Trump met with democrats about a proposal that would allow them to stay.
"We're working on a plan for DACA; people want to see that happen,” said Trump. “You have 800,000 young people brought here at no fault of their own."

Yet questions remain for Ruiz-Lira.

"When I read more into it, it just protects dreamers, but it doesn't mention our parents," she said.

When Ruiz-Lira applied for DACA, she had to provide her parents' information who spent the previous decade living in the shadows.

"I still need my parents with me, I have a 10-year-old sister that's a U.S. citizen and she needs them as well," she said.

Ruiz-Lira wants Trump to take his stance a step further to allow family of DACA recipients to stay in the U.S. as well.