Group holds march in support of program for young undocumented immigrants
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — A group of people hold a march in Chattanooga today joining other marches in the state in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The group gathers at the Chattanooga Public Library.
“There are 8,000 young people in Tennessee and 800,000 young people in the whole nation that are beneficiaries of this program,” says event organizer Jared Steiman.
The program was put in place by an Executive Order in 2012, and gives young undocumented immigrants a renewable two year work visa and protects them from deportation.
But the group is concerned the program might end.
“We’re rallying today to try to convince the attorney general of Tennessee and by extension of the rest of the attorney generals to back out of this lawsuit against the president and hopefully leave the DACA program for a couple of years,” Steiman adds.
23-year-old Richard Guerrero is a DACA recipent.
He was at the march and tells me the program has enabled him to come out of the shadows.
“Before I, before DACA, I worked…with jobs under the table,” Guerrero says.
The 10-year Chattanooga resident says he went to school, but DACA has allowed him to be able to contribute to society.
“I’ve worked at several companies. Right now I’m in the middle of trying to become a full fledged loan officer at one of the companies that I work at,” Guerrero says.
A program Jared Steiman one of the march organizers says is important in developing these young people into contributing and successful adults.