LAS VEGAS, NV – Democratic Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto was the keynote speaker for a celebration in Las Vegas celebrating the fifth anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. The Obama-era executive order protects young immigrants brought into the country illegally from deportation.
“DACA is a necessary step but the goal is to reach comprehensive immigration reform. It’s not going to be easy but we cannot give up,” Cortez Masto said.
Cortez Masto, the first Latina elected to the United States Senate, spoke to a group of about 80 people during the event organized by a local labor union.
Brenda Romero introduced the Senator before her speech. Romero is known as a DREAMer, the common name given to those who have been accepted into the DACA program. She told the crowd about how DACA has helped her become a more productive member of her community by allowing her to work and continue her education.
For Romero the fifth anniversary of DACA is nothing to celebrate, she said she’s now worried about the uncertainty surrounding the 2012 executive order. Ten attorneys general have notified President Donald Trump that if he doesn’t cancel the program they will sue the federal government because their belief is the program is unconstitutional. The deadline for the Trump administration to act is September 5, 2017.
“I believe if the program is terminated, President Trump and his administration will find out that we are thousands of people contributing to this country, fighting for our communities,” Romero said.
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, nearly 800,000 immigrants have been accepted into the DACA program.