DACA supporters say Democrats are using them as pawns

Posted at 11:44 PM, Jan 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 02:44:06-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Dozens marched around the Democratic Headquarters in Clairemont Tuesday night - angry that Congress approved a temporary budget to end the government shutdown without making a decision on DACA. 

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Their chant said it all. 

"Undocumented. Unafraid. Undocumented. Unafraid!” 

Dozens of people marching -- many of them, Dreamers. 

They told 10News they march because they're angry - angry because the fate of thousands of young children brought to America illegally is uncertain. 

"They’re using us as bargaining chips to fill their political agenda and we’re tired of that," said Barbara Hernandez. 

Hernandez says democrats use DACA as a bargaining chip - agreeing to a temporary budget in exchange for a promise by Republicans to talk about the status of young immigrants - a back-and-forth that is painful to watch. 

"It honestly feels like I'm seeing my house burn down," said Francisco Peralta, a DACA recipient. "And it feels like all the hard work that I’ve put in over the last five, six, seven, 10 feels like it’s evaporating.” 

Hernandez said now is the time for permanent protection for undocumented youth. 

"We have been here all our lives, this is the home. This is the place that we call home," she said. "We need a permanent solution now."

Organizers say more rallies will be planned. 

10News reached out to the Democratic offices for a response to the march but they were closed. We received this message from Ryan Hurd, executive director of the San Diego County Democratic Party: 

"San Diego Democrats continue to support the Dreamers in our community. DACA deserves a direct vote now so that Dreamers can live without fear or uncertainty about their status.

California's Democraric U.S. Senators have rejected anything less, and we encourage all Members of Congress to do the right thing and demand legal status for these Americans who contribute to our country daily in every way."