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Racine 'Dreamers' head to D.C. to lobby Congress

Posted at 5:48 PM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 19:38:42-05

Hundreds of southeast Wisconsin youth boarded a bus to Washington D.C., to lobby Congress to pass the Dream Act. 

The legislation would allow children of undocumented immigrants, who came to the U.S. with their parents, a chance to live and work here without fear of deportation. And it would likely allow a path to permanent residency. 

Students at Horlick High School in Racine left Tuesday afternoon with some of their family members and supporters in the community. They said they're hoping their presence in D.C. gets the attention of congress. 

They were joined at a rally before leaving by Racine Mayor Cory Mason and other community supporters like Diane Lange, who is a retired teacher at Horlick. 

"It’s powerful," she said. "I believe what we do today creates a history for tomorrow. These students are fighting for what they know is important. I totally support them."

In September, President Donald Trump ended the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protected undocumented immigrants who came here as children. 

Nearly 700,000 young adults received permits under the program that allowed them to get jobs and enroll in college. 

Instead, Trump said Congress needs to come up with a solution and gave them a March 5 deadline. 

"Please give us a clean Dream Act, we need this," said Luis Tapia, who is a junior at Horlick High School and a member of the student arm of Voces de la Frontera. 

He said while in D.C., they are hoping to get House Speaker Paul Ryan's attention. They will join thousands of people from around the country who plan to rally in D.C. on Wednesday. 

"People are coming out of the shadows and we’re showing that even though we are threatened to go back into the shadows, we won’t, we refuse to do that," said Yessica Ramirez, a junior at Horlick High School.