Immigrant community blasts Trump's 'cruel decision' on DACA program
SEATTLE -- Graciela Nunez Pargas is like so many in DACA program, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Torn between two countries---two different worlds, yet truly not belonging to either.
“They're criminalizing our community,” she said of the rhetoric being used by the White House.
“And they're taking away the merits that got DACA put in the first place,” Pargas said.
Tuesday’s rally on Beacon Hill shows that Washington state is once again a key opponent to the White House.
It's the state Pargas came to for college, at the UW.
Her family fled Venezuela's violence to go to Miami, leaving the then 7-year-old in the dark about the destination.
Then came Tuesday’s news of Trump's plan to end DACA.
“It also creates a little more paranoia because we are going to be submitting so many renewal applications,” Pargas said.
DACA recipients can't get Social Security benefits and they have no access to Obamacare or unemployment benefits. Instead, they pay fees and give personal information to the government.
They consider it a contract and bargain that gives protection from deportation and the right to work or go to school.
“And now these two things are being stripped from us and we really have no personhood anymore,” Pargas said.
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson agrees, calling Trump's move a “cruel decision.”
Ferguson is planning a lawsuit with upwards of 20 states to sue the feds over the DACA repeal.
“We`ve filed 14 lawsuits against this administration and we haven't lost yet. We're 4 and 0. Not one federal judge has ruled against us so far,” he said Tuesday morning.
Pargas fears she could be forced to go to a home she's never truly known---into the heart of deadly revolution.
When all she wants is to stay with fellow Americans.
“We are not going back to the shadows -- 800,000 of us are not going back to the shadows -- and we're definitely going to fight for our rights here,” she said.
The state's congressional delegation also roundly criticized Trump's decision.