CHICAGO (CBS) — People packed into the Lincoln United Methodist Church on Monday night for a town hall addressing immigration in the United States. Many attendees worried about what new President Donald Trump could do to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Policy, or DACA.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports.
Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez hosted the town hall. He’s a longtime champion for immigration rights and wanted to send a message to the new president of the “Land of the Free.”
“You cannot deport us away, we are here to stay in America! This is our country too.” he said.
The DACA program was introduced under former President Barack Obama. It protected immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children. Many people at the gathering were uncertain about what could happen to them if the program was overturned, including recent college graduate Jovani Ibarra.
“If DACA gets cancelled, it will make it extremely hard to move forward with my plans and my goals in the United States,” he said.
Raul Ortiz, 8, feels similarly and thinks he may lose his place in a safer country.
“I came here because in Honduras I was in danger, so my mom brought me to the USA to be safe,” he said.
Rep. Gutierrez is pushing for a bill called the Bridge Act, which would extend DACA protections should President Trump overturn the policy. However, the congressman is not sure what to expect.
“I’m certainly hoping for the best, but guess what? I’m going to prepare for the worst,” he said.