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Harrisonburg Vigil Supports 'Dreamers'

Calvin Pynn

The United States Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments today on the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – or DACA - and advocates in Harrisonburg held a vigil last night in support of the program. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Conga drums pounded and candles lit up the lawn outside of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church as several dozen people showed up to support DACA.

(Sounds of drums at vigil)

The Obama-era policy protects immigrants – known as Dreamers – who came to the U.S. as children without documentation. President Trump attempted to end the program in 2017, and the Supreme Court will take up the case for the first time today.

VERONICA ALBERTO: We have a lot of DACA recipients here in Harrisonburg, we have a large Latino population here. It’s not just Latinos who have DACA, we have South Korean recipients as well, and a few people from Guatemala, etcetera. 

That’s Veronica Alberto, a spokesperson with the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of Virginia Organizing, and a Dreamer herself.

There are an estimated 700,000 Dreamers nationwide, according to the Center for American Progress. If the Court sides with the Trump Administration, those protected by DACA would be at risk of being deported.

ALBERTO: That’s not even counting the children they have. If anything were to happen to that 700,000, there would be 250,000 kids without parents.

As the main goal was to spread awareness about DACA, the crowd was prompted to call Senator Mark Warner’s office all at once to express their support.

(Sound of crowd members on the phone with Mark Warner’s voicemail)

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case in 2020.

Calvin Pynn is a radio reporter, writer, and photographer based in Harrisonburg, Virginia.