HERMISTON — A Supreme Court decision blocking President Donald Trump’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was met with approval by a local grassroots organization.
The program, which protects undocumented immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the United States as a child and meet certain requirements, was set up in 2012 by President Barack Obama.
Roy Gomez, a board member for the Hermiston organization Raíces, said the ruling gave him hope for better opportunities for those protected by the program, known as “Dreamers,” in the future.
“It’s definitely a small victory for us,” he said. “It’s a battle we won that will keep the momentum for us, but there is still a lot of work to be done for Dreamers.”
Raíces’ stated mission is “creating a space for our community’s voice by empowering Latinx leaders through unity, education and connections.”
The group focuses on encouraging civic engagement, and offers initiatives, such as a DACA scholarship that covers the applications fees for community members reapplying for their DACA status every two years.
Gomez pointed out the “rigorous” requirements for young people who were brought to the United States as a child to qualify for the reprieve from deportation, including a high school diploma and no felony record. He also said many DACA recipients in the Hermiston area fill essential jobs.
“These are good people we’re advocating for, people we want in our community,” he said.
Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden released statements after the ruling urging the Republican majority to allow the Senate to vote on legislation that would give a path to permanent resident status for DACA recipients.