Rally pushing 'clean' DREAM Act held at US-Mexico border in San Diego

Posted at 10:53 AM, Feb 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-07 20:38:08-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Dozens of immigrants, DACA recipients and immigration activists held a rally at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego Wednesday afternoon to urge Congress to come up with a solution to ongoing immigration issues.

Rally participants gathered at Border Field State Park (1500 Monument Rd., San Diego) and marched to the Friendship Park area, located just at the border fence before Tijuana.

The rally and march comes as Congress tries to pass a spending bill before the Feb. 8 deadline. Immigration and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are among the subjects that have derailed talks among Congressional leaders.

RELATED: WH chief of staff suggests Dreamers who didn't sign up for DACA were "too lazy"

Without a spending bill, the federal government would be forced to shut down.

Activists and event organizers are hoping Congress can pass a "clean" DREAM Act that will continue to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children but not include provisions for President Trump's proposed border wall.

Organizers said many undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients shared their stories of deportation and "the consequences of the cruel and outdated immigration system."

UndocuTravelers founder Karla Estrada said, "On the eve of this February 8 deadline, it is important to remind people that we are fighting for more than legislation, but for the recognition of our humanity. We are here to uplift the stories of our community and to face the wall that has caused pain to countless of people. The wall that will determine the lives of immigrant youth and many immigrants to come."

Fernanda Madrigal, an undocumented immigrant who is a part of the Seed Project, said, "Undocumented youth will continue, now more than ever demanding that Democrats hold the line, grow courage and say #NoDreamNoDeal. Every day the Dream Act does not pass over 122 people lose their status. Undocumented youth are at risk of detention and deportation even despite having DACA."

RELATED: Two DACA recipients arrested for involvement in human smuggling in California

DACA recipient Barbara Hernandez added, "I will not be a bargaining chip and throw my community deeper into the shadows or for families to be separated -- the time to act is now. We need permanent protection, not only for the youth but for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country."